Existing Home Sales Jump

Published by: Dave Simmons on 20th Jan 2011 | View all blogs by Dave Simmons
Existing Home Sales Jump

The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday that sales of existing US homes soared in December, surpassing analysts' expectations as sellers cut prices.  The group said sales surged 12.3 percent in the month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.28 million units, whereas analysts had projected a rise to 4.85 million.  Sales were still down, however, 2.9 percent from the same month a year prior.

The NAR's chief economists Lawrence Yun speculated that a number of buyers may have been brought in by rising mortgage rates as they feared further increases and decided to get in before rates climbed further.  Yun also said he expects 2011 sales to come in around 5.2 million with prices remaining relatively stagnant.

During the housing boom, the sales pace peaked at over 7 million in September 2005, then reached a 15-year low pace below 4 million in the middle of 2010 after the market collapsed.

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