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Existing-Home Sales Soar to Seven-Month High

January 20, 2011

Existing-Home Sales Soar to Seven-Month High

01/20/2011 By: Carrie Bay

Sales of previously owned homes surged 12.3 percent in December, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors Thursday.

Existing-home sales have increased five of the last six months and have now hit a seven-month high, at a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.28 million units. That’s up from a rate of 4.70 million in November, but remains 2.9 percent below the 5.44 million pace in December 2009.

“December was a good finish to 2010, when sales fluctuate more than normal,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The pattern over the past six months is clearly showing a recovery.”

Yun says the December sales pace is near the volume he and his organization are expecting for 2011, “so the market is getting much closer to an adequate, sustainable level,” he said. “The recovery will likely continue as job growth gains momentum and rising rents encourage more renters into ownership while exceptional affordability conditions remain.”

Distressed homes accounted for 36 percent of the sales volume in December, up from 33 percent in November.

(developing story)


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