BARSTOW It may not be 2005, but officials at the Falcon Ridge subdivision say new home sales are picking up.

The post-housing boom subdivision, off South Muriel Drive where the edge of town meets the desert and the streets are still new enough the Internet maps have not caught up, plans to hold a grand opening Saturday at 11 a.m.

Officials have sold 13 homes since the community's groundbreaking event in December, home sales counselor Diane Flores said.

She said Falcon Ridge was moving properties because there were few other areas of town to find modern homes.

The sales could be a sign that the economy is improving, said Teresa White, president of the Barstow Chamber of Commerce.

White said Barstow was fortunate that it never experienced overbuilding of single-family homes when the market was stronger. As a result, Flores said, the Barstow area does not have a glut of homes on the market like the Victor Valley does.

Falcon Ridge was not exactly a planned development. A different developer, Century Vintage Homes, once planned to build 80 homes, but only built on about 20 of the lots. Williams Homes bought the property as the market soured, piggybacking its one-story homes behind the aborted project's larger homes. Now they plan to develop 58 homes in the area.

The National Association of Realtors released a report Thursday showing that existing homes sales in the West had increased 8.8 percent in January from the previous month but were still 3.1 percent below a recent spike in Jan. 2011.

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