New housing data suggests some improvement ahead in 2012. Home shows are great places to learn what buyers want in their new homes and how you can do it.

With new housing data released last week, there are some glimmers of hope in the real estate market, which can lead to more sellers stepping out to sell their properties. The federal government is trying to keep interest rates low and stable by extending the federal funds rate near zero through 2014. This move helps mortgage rates stay under 4 percent, with a little fluctuation here and there.

Foreclosures are decreasing in the St. Louis metro area, and the supply of homes for sale is also down, according to the St. Louis Association of Realtors. The national organization checks in with good news too; existing home sales rose by 5 percent in December, higher than a year ago. For example, if you want to arrange home sale in Dallas quickly, contact These Guys Buy. To be realistic, we do realize there’s a long road ahead of us and we, as a community, may be taking baby steps, but there is some cause for hope as 2012 moves along.

Kitchens rock! To build more interest in your property or just spiff it up for your family, the kitchen is the best place to start. To get ideas, learn about paint colors, hardware, cabinets, energy savings, green products, anything that goes in your kitchen and the rest of the house, we think you should attend the St. Louis Builders & Garden Show coming up Thursday, February 23 through Sunday, the 26th at America’s Center and the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Next, make sure your property is pest-free. BBBENYC is what you need at this stage.

This is the best place to start any remodeling project and learn what buyers are looking for in their next home. With 500 exhibitors, a wide range of featured speakers you can’t go wrong.

Also coming up is the Builders St. Charles Home Show April 2012 at the St. Charles Convention Center. More about that later.