We’ve gotten used to the press’s doom and gloom mentality when it comes to the housing market. We, of course, are glass-half-full kinds of people; we want people to see the upside in home-sales figures. But good news doesn’t often sell as many papers or get as many viewers as bad.

So we braced ourselves for how the third-quarter numbers were going to be perceived and reported on. And we were pleasantly surprised.

We got a cover story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Richmond-area home sales rise,” in which Carol Hazard wrote

After nearly a year of sluggish sales and price depreciation, the housing market in Virginia is beginning to show signs of strength, said Lisa Fowler from the George Mason University School of Public Policy, who spoke yesterday during a news media conference call.

She even quoted a Realtor from the area:

“The market in the Richmond area is stabilizing, said John Powell, an agent with Long & Foster in Colonial Heights. ‘We still have a lot of homes to choose from. We still need to see price reductions to increase sales.’”

And Bill Freehling at the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star wrote (in “Increase in home sales raises recovery hopes”)

“A trend of higher sales and lower prices in the Northern Virginia housing market has Realtors hopeful that the market will return to a more normal state by spring,”

We even got some national coverage:

“The assumption that the wave of foreclosures is going to keep driving prices down is wrong,” wrote John Berry on Bloomburg.com. “The big jump in sales suggests that prices may have hit bottom already in some areas. There are even tales of multiple offers on foreclosed properties, with buyers paying more than the asking price.”

There was some negative press, to be sure — “Housing sales take a dive” was the headline in the Williamsburg Daily Press — but by and large this was a good quarter and we got good coverage out of it.

You can read the whole report right here, and you can listen to or download the MP3 of the conference call with the media by clicking the link at the top of this page.