New numbers from the National Association of Realtors show sales of previously owned homes up 6.1 percent in March from the month before. The increase was the largest one month improvement since 2010 and brought sales to their highest annual rate since September 2013. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the housing market appears to be off to an encouraging start this spring. “After a quiet start to the year, sales activity picked up greatly throughout the country,” Yun said. “The combination of low interest rates and the ongoing stability in the job market is improving buyer confidence and finally releasing some of the sizable pent-up demand that accumulated in recent years.” In fact, that same pent-up demand has been responsible for six straight months of year-over-year improvement, which has pushed existing home sales 10.4 percent above last year’s level. Regionally, sales were strongest in the Midwest, where they rose 10.1 percent above the previous month. Each region of the country saw increases, however, with the Northeast and West both gaining more than 6 percent. Also, the median existing-home price for all housing types was $212,100 in March. More here.