The national housing market is picking up.
Sales of formerly occupied homes rose 7.8 percent in August to an annual rate of 4.82 million, said the National Association of Realtors. That is the highest rate since May 2010.
Moreover, U.S. builders started 2.3 percent more new homes and apartments in August than in July, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The rate of construction increased to a seasonally adjusted 750,000 best for single-family home construction since April 2010.
Not all the news is positive, the Associated Press notes. Sales of once-occupied homes still lag behind the 5.5 million that economists judge is healthy. The number of first-time homebuyers is 31 percent, down from 34 percent.
But there are signs that the market is stirring. More people are capitalizing on low mortgage rates and housing prices that are more affordable than was true six years ago.
Home prices are increasing. New-home sales are rising. Home builders are gaining confidence.
Things are looking up. That can only help the economy.