Tuesday, January 29, 2013 / by Nathan Clark
The sales pace of existing homes in theU.S.dipped slightly in December, but home sales reached levels not seen since 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors.
According to the NAR, sales in December slipped slightly to an annual sales rate of 4.94 million units, down about a percentage point from November. It was still, however, the second-highest monthly rate since November of 2009, when a federal tax credit for home buyers was expiring.
The NAR reports 4.65 sales of existing homes took place in 2012, which is more than 9 percent higher than the 2011 figure, and the most since 2007, just after the real estate “bubble” burst. The inventory of homes for sale on the market dropped to 1.82 million, according to the NAR, which is the tightest inventory has been in 12 years.
The tight supply has helped lift home prices in many markets. Nationwide, the median home price in 2012 was $176,600, up 6.3 percent from 2011 and the biggest year-to-year gain since 2005.