The National Association of Realtors is predicting that this year will have the strongest home sales in the past 5 years,  projecting a sales jump of 7 to 10% despite an uneven but steadily growing sales pattern. Sales over the first months of this year are showing slight fluctuations, but the overall pattern with regards to previous years is showing an increasingly growing trend of sales.

Last week, NAR reported a similar trend for existing-home sales, which were down 0.9 percent from January to February, but up 8.8 percent from a year ago.

In the Northeast, NAR’s index slipped a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent from January but was up 18.4 percent from a year ago.

The Midwest saw a month-over-month gain of 6.5 percent and a 19 percent gain from a year ago.

Pending home sales fell 3 percent in the South from January to February, but were up 7.8 percent from a year ago.

In the West, the index declined 2.6 percent from January to February and was 1.8 percent below the index rating in February 2011.

This data provides some perspective into more recent trends, as it tracks homes under contract in February, most of which will be finalized within the next few months.  With new home sales increasing, many experts are predicting a rise in appreciation of real estate values within the next year, so for all of you bargain hunters out there, the time to act is definitely now.