Two economic reports released today show a strong and growing economy in metro San Antonio, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  The total number of home sales in May showed the biggest increase since before the housing crash last month.  The San Antonio Board of Realtors says 2480 single family homes were sold in May, a 31% increase over May of 2012.


  "The summer months are typically the busiest time of year in real estate, and the May numbers prove that consumer confidence is high and the market is continuing to thrive," SABOR Chairman Steven Gragg said.


  He pointed out that, despite some recent upticks, mortgage interest rates are still very low, the region's job market is good, and housing prices remain affordable.


  SABOR points out that for the first time since before the recession, upscale homes, valued at $500,000 or more, are also starting to sell.  The total number of homes sold last month which were in the upper price range amounted to nearly five percent of total homes, up from the three percent which has been normal over the last several years.


  The State Comptroller's office says sales tax revenues, the best measure of retail sales, showed a huge 14% jump in Bexar County in May.


  That means we were pulling out our wallets and credit cards at a very brisk rate last month.  Since consumer sales represent roughly 70% of local economic activity, that indicates that the local economy continues to thrive.


  And that 14% increase was on top of very healthy retail sales gains seen in 2012.