Rising home sales across the U.S. may point to a recovery in the housing market. Sales have risen nearly 13 percent over the past six months, and housing experts believe the trend will continue.
"The rise in existing home sales in recent months adds to the indication from housing starts, building permits, and homebuilder sentiment that the sector has improved modestly since the middle of 2011," John Ryding, an economist at RDQ Economics, said.
The number of new homes on the market has fallen to its lowest level in seven years. Sale of older houses is at its highest level since May 2010, and more first-time buyers are making purchases.
"The trend is clearly upward," said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.
Even so, sales are still well below the level that normally marks a healthy housing market.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that re-sales increased 4.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million.
Sales rose across the country in January. They rose on a seasonal basis by nearly 9 percent in the West, 3.5 percent in the South, 3.4 percent in the Northeast and 1 percent in the Midwest.