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The MReport Webcast: Monday 1/26/2015

The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales of pre-owned homes rose 2.4 percent month-over-month in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million. It was the sixth time in the past seven months in which existing-home sales topped an annualized pace of 5 million.

The group estimates existing-home sales totaled 4.93 million for all of 2014, a slight decline from 2013 thanks to a slow first quarter.

Existing-home sales improved in the country's more active housing regions, rising close to 4 percent in the South and nearly 10 percent in the West. The Northeast and Midwest weakened, meanwhile, posting monthly declines of 2.9 and 3 and a half percent, respectively.

The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index, which gauges the near-term economic outlook based on a variety of indicators, increased half a percent in December to 121.1, the group reported Friday. The increase fell between November's gain of 0.4 percent and October's larger 0.6 percent improvement. A Conference Board economist said December's gain was driven by growth in a majority of its components, suggesting that the short-term outlook is getting brighter and the economy is continuing to build momentum.

About Author: Jordan Funderburk

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