Home sales in the U.S. increased by 16 percent in 2013, as 428,000 homes were purchased. That's the largest increase in five years, according to data released by the U.S. Commerce Department.
In addition, home sales last month rose significantly, up almost 10 percent over January 2013. The increase was a shock to industry analysts who predicted a plateaued market. The median sales price for January also increased by 3.4 percent year over year.
This increase is attributed to improved market conditions and strong employment growth, and if it continues, the U.S. will likely continue seeing this uptrend in sales.
The Northeast region led the sales surge with a 73.7 percent increase — the highest spike since July 2012, according to Bloomberg. Construction stars, on the other hand, dropped 16 percent to an 880,000 annualized rate, which the report attributed to delays caused by the frozen winter ground.