NAR Reports a National Increase in Home Sales for the Fourth Consecutive Month

By Jay Hummer

Wednesday brought encouraging news from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that I wanted to share.

According to a new report, January experienced a 4.3 percent increase in national existing home sales when compared to January 2011. The report goes on to say existing home sales in the Northeast outpaced the national average (+7.1 percent year-over-year) and that this is the third straight month we have experienced year-over-year gains nationally.

This is good news for our economy, and positive news is exactly what we need to increase consumer confidence right now. Of course, this comes on the heels of another major boost for Americans as the Dow Jones briefly topped 13,000 on Tuesday. While it didn’t stay there for long, it marked the first time since May 2008 it had reached that level.

We’ve all heard about the role that the housing market needs to play in stabilizing the economy – and, by the same token, how the economy can aid the housing market. Their fates are intertwined.

You never want to overreact to this kind of news, but you don’t want to ignore it either. There’s a reason it’s called consumer “confidence”: there’s an emotional factor at play. Good news can beget good news. Here’s hoping that in time, we can look back at the last couple of days as a springboard to a steady – and confident – recovery.