In the fourth quarter of 2010, as mortgage rates began to rise and home prices remained unsettled, home sales jumped 22 percent. The sales increase was the largest three-month gain since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit and offered evidence that, despite mounting foreclosures and volatile prices, high affordability would bring buyers back to the market. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told Bloomberg that sales have risen because the job market is gaining traction, consumer confidence is improving, and rates are still near historic lows. Fannie Mae also forecasts sales increases this year, predicting sales will gain 6.0 percent and reach a four-year high in 2011. More here.