The numbers are in and existing home sales rose 12% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.28 million in December, up from 4.70 million in November. Yet they were almost 3% percent below the 5.44 million pace in December 2009, according to the National Association Of Realtors.
Some economist say the sales pattern over the past six months indicates a recovery in the housing market as the December pace is near the volume expected for 2011. They also believe the market is getting closer to an adequate, sustainable level. The recovery is likely to continue as job growth gains momentum.
Rising December sales were fueled by falling home prices and increasing sales of distressed properties. The national median sale price of an existing home was $168,800 in December, 1% below December 2009. Total housing inventory fell 4.2% to 3.56 million existing homes available for sale, representing an 8.1 month supply at the current sales pace, down from 9.5 months in November.
Distressed sales accounted for 36 percent of all existing-home sales in December, up from 33 percent in November. First-time buyers purchased 33 percent of the homes sold in December, down from 43 percent a year ago, while investors accounted for 20 percent of sales, up from 15 percent in December 2009.
All The Best,