Home sales momentum carries into January

Just as numerous housing experts predicted, real estate records for the first month of the new year show the real estate sector recovery continued at a swift pace, with contracted residential sales rising from the month before.

Just as numerous housing experts predicted, real estate records for the first month of the new year show the real estate sector recovery continued at a swift pace, with contracted residential sales rising from the month before.

The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index for January nearly reached an even 106 - up from the revised estimate of 105.1 in December and markedly higher than the index from a year earlier of 96.7.

"Over the near term, rising contract activity means higher home sales, but total sales for the year are expected to rise less than in 2012, while home prices are projected to rise more strongly because of inventory shortages," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

Overall, Yun noted roughly 5 million homes to come off the listings this year. Though this projected mark is slightly lower than the total from last year, it still would mean substantial improvements for the housing market, which continues to see prices rise nationwide and lending restrictions ease, albeit slowly.

Some factors may hold back the housing segment from returning to pre-recession levels this year. One of those factors, according to Pro Teck Valuation Services, could be the limited residential inventory. However, the firm added that increase in the number of high-priced properties listed is a promising sign.



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