Leaders with the Central Oregon Builders Association are seeing some encouraging signs in our local economy. COBA spokesman Tim Knopp says a recent report that shows a dramatic drop in the Bend median home price mostly points to fewer high end homes being sold. He adds that local home builders are looking at a more optimistic picture going forward: KBND: “How are you feeling in general about the industry??” COBA spokesman Tim Knopp: “Things are definitely improving. If you look at the year over year number of building permits, they are continuing to increase, and they have been over the past three years. It’s just at a lower level and so what we see a positive trend of foreclosures being bought up and absorbed back into the system and that's going to pave the way for more new product to come onto the market." In an average year, COBA sees about 1000 permits in Bend, and that's been running at around 350 to 400 recently. At the bottom of the market, Knopp says they had only 150 new building permits. In other local home builder news; Dan Pahlisch of Pahlisch Homes was just named the President of COBA for 2012.