Though sales of previously owned homes were slow in January, they were higher than last year’s numbers by 3.2 percent, the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year improvement. The estimates, released by the National Association of Realtors, show January home sales up over last year but down 4.9 percent from December. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the housing market got off to a somewhat disappointing start to begin the year. “January housing data can be volatile because of seasonal influences, but low housing supply and the ongoing rise in home prices above the pace of inflation appeared to slow sales despite interest rates remaining near historic lows,” Yun said. Despite the fact that the number of available homes for sale has been low recently, it was up slightly from the month before. Home prices were also up, the 35th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. Regionally, sales were down in the Midwest, South, West, and Northeast, with the West and Northeast experiencing the biggest losses. All four regions are still above last year’s numbers, however. More here.