Home sales take a big leap in Tuscaloosa

{}{}{} The{}Alabama Center for Real Estate says residential home sales{}spiked significantly last month compared to April{}home sales in previous years.{} They were up 43 percent over last year, but 80 percent over 2011.

{}{}{} The study is based on an{}April to April analysis.{} Since 2003, an average 200{}homes per year have been sold.{}{}The Center for Real Estate says a total 236 home closings were{}recorded last month.{}

{}{}{} Some realtors credit a step by local leaders who were able to get the requirements of a U.S. Department of Agriculture{} rural development loan waived.

{}{}{} Its a home buying loan, typically for people in{}rural areas -- but,{} the rural mandate{}was waived last March, making it available to anyone in areas affected by 2011 tornado.

{}{}{} Many realtors say they have seen more people take advantage of the loan and expect to see home sales in Tuscaloosa continue to climb.