Economists say rise in home sales signifies strengthening housing market

A welcoming housing recovery is beginning to bud according to industry experts looking at existing-home sales.

But while acknowledging home sales are still low, chief economist Paul Dales of Capital Economics says “it is clear that housing recovery is now well underway.”

The support is that home sales have been on the rise for the past several months, showing a 5 percent increase in December.

As well, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), agreed saying “The pattern of home sales in recent months demonstrates a market in recovery.”

Lawrence Yun suggests consumers are gaining confidence from “record low mortgage interest rates, job growth and bargain home prices.”

On top of the 5 percent increase in December, NAR reported a 1.7 percent annual increase in existing-home sales in 2011, for a total of 4.26 million homes.

The national housing inventory is on the decline, falling to its lowest level since March 2005, according to NAR. Roughly 2.3 million homes are currently available for sale.

“The inventory supply suggests many markets will continue to see prices stabilize or grow moderately in the near future,” Yun said.

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