Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. rose more than forecast in January to a seven-month high as lower prices and warm weather brought out more buyers.
Purchases increased 3 percent last month to an annual rate of 6.46 million, up from a 6.27 million December rate that was higher than previously reported, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Sales fell 4.3 percent compared with a year earlier.
The report suggests that housing, recovering from its worst slump in 15 years, may be less of a burden on growth this year, economists said. Cheaper homes and low borrowing costs are spurring sales, while a plunge in January housing starts reported this month shows builders are trying to reduce a glut of unsold properties.
First -- color me impressed (and a bit surprised).
I think a fair amount of this has to do with interest rates.
Here's a chart of the 10-year Treasury, expressed by the interest rate.
A while back I observed the 4.85% was near a restrictive interest rate on housing. Notice that rates have been dropping since the beginning of the year, and now stand at 4.55%. That is good for housing.