The housing market received some positive news yesterday when the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes rose 6.5 % from November to December. This was especially good news because sales were expected to decline. Industry analysts and economists saw hope in the apparent pickup in housing sales and attributed the gain to lower mortgage rates. But they cautioned that the trend would need to continue to represent a real move for the market off its low point.
"This is the first time in a while that we have seen a return to normalcy in the relationship between lower mortgage rates and increased sales. That's good news, but it may be too soon to get really excited yet," said Michael Schenk, senior economist at Credit Union National Association in Madison, Wisconsin.
In addition, the median sales price of existing homes decreased 15.3% from the previous year. Economists looked at the price move as critical toward a possible housing recovery.