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Home Sales Up 8%

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Home sales have improved by 8%, giving confidence to the once ailing market.

But are those numbers a sign the housing crisis is over? 
Gains in the housing market continue as a whole, with fewer and fewer markets seeing smaller numbers, and all signs are pointing toward incredibly small mortgage rates, which experts say we haven't seen for forty years.
Realtor Sarah Gunderson says, "Interest rates right now are so low that you can own a home for less than you could rent. So if you're paying $1000 a monthly in rent, you can own a very nice home."

And those low interest rates aren't an accident. They're being kept artificially low as a way to bring the economy back to life.
Wayne Murra of Bremer Bank says, "Low interest rates. That's what's driving the market right now. That's what's driving the economy. Housing is very important for the recovery of the economy, a good strong housing market. So the government is buying mortgage-backed securities primarily to keep interest rates low."

Home sales are climbing, but it appears purse strings are getting tighter, as builders are getting less requests for the McMansions of yesteryear, instead focusing on more affordable fare.
Homebuilder Troy Schrom says, "A simple, affordable home is definitely going to be there. The two bedroom, two bathroom, 3-car garage, whether it's a rambler or a split or a 2-story. People are definitely watching their prices."

Definitely not the glory days of the early aughts just yet.