Existing-home sales increased in December

WASHINGTON – The national annual rate existing-homes sales increased 6.5 percent from November to December, the National Association of Realtors announced last week.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales was 4.74 million units in December, up from 4.45 million units in November.
While December saw an increase in the rate of home sales, the total annual existing-home sales fell 13.1 percent, to 4.91 million from 5.65 million the year before, NAR said.
In a statement, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said the increase in annual rate showed that “some buyers are taking advantage of much lower home prices.”
Yun continued, “The higher monthly sales gain and falling inventory are steps in the right directly, but the market is still far from normal balanced conditions. Buyers will continue to have an edge over sellers for the foreseeable future.”
At the end of 2008, 3.68 million existing homes were up for sale. That represents a 9.3-month supply, down from the 11.2-month supply on the market in November, NAR said.
The National Association of Realtors is the nation’s largest trade association, with more than 1.3 million members in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate. Additional information is available at www.realtor.org.

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