The latest federal government statistics show that purchases of new homes rose 7.8 percent last month from January to a seasonally adjusted pace of 539,000 units, a seven-year high. The icing on the cake, however, came in the breakdown of sales by price. Americans agreed to buy approximately 17,000 new houses in the $200,000-to-$299,999 price range last month, the most since March 2008. This accounted for 39 percent of the 44,000 properties sold in February. Another 8,000 residences, the most in nine months, sold in the $150,000-to-$199,999 price range. Researchers further note that February marked the third month in a row of increased sales of homes priced from $150,000 to $299,999, which may suggest greater demand from lower-income buyers. Such factors as limited wage growth, tighter lending standards, and crushing student debt loads have held back many Americans from making the leap to homeownership. But with rising apartments rents, a strengthening job market, and builders constructing more affordable housing, homeownership is slowly becoming more appealing. | Read More