2013 existing home sales strongest in 7 years

2013 existing home sales strongest in 7 years

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U.S. home resales rose slightly in December after three monthly falls in a row, as record low mortgage interest rates and pent-up demand continue to sustain a recovery in the market.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Thursday that sales of previously owned homes rose 1.0 last month, to an annual rate of 4.87 million units. Total sales for 2013 were the strongest in seven years.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected home resales to rise to a 4.94 million-unit pace in December.

(Click here to track U.S. stock indices following the report.)

“For the year as a whole, it’s a good recovery,” NAR economist Lawrence Yun told reporters. “We lost some momentum toward the end of 2013.”

Home resales have been hurt by a sharp rise in mortgage interest rates since the spring and ongoing price increases that have shut some home buyers out of the market.

But other recent indications of the sector’s health have brightened as a steady rise in household formation from multi-decade lows props up demand and encourages builders to undertake new development projects.

Yun said two opposing forces are impacting the market: a mismatch of fast-rising prices coupled with weak income growth, which have combined to make home buying less affordable for many Americans.

The median existing home price rose 9.9 percent in December to $198,000 from the same month in 2012.

Prices have risen mainly due to a shortage of properties on the market. The number of homes for sale remains relatively tight, and the inventory of unsold properties on the market dropped 9.3 from the prior month to 1.86 million.

© 2014 CNBC.com

URL: http://www.cnbc.com/101358564

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About tswinslow

Your home is about how you feel when you walk through the front door. How do you want to feel - relaxed and tranquil after a hectic day? Cozy and comfortable in a large great room with a gas or wood burning fireplace? Maybe you want to smell freshly baked cookies coming from your all stainless steel oven? I take a different approach to real estate. My business is built on personal touch, building relationships with clients that last for years. I look for win-win deals and positive results. I have access to the latest technologies, market research and business strategies to exceed your expectations of an agent at Keller Williams. I'll listen and hear what your needs and requirements are and find solutions tailored to you. I like to say "I get it done for my clients". I'll exceed your expectations on follow-up, communication and leverage relationships I have with others (lenders, CPA's, builders, etc) to get it done for you. I am loyal and will follow it through til the end which doesn't just stop at the closing table. I appreciate the opportunity to earn your business.
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