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Existing-Home Sales Climb 5% in December: NAR

Existing-home sales climbed by 5 percent in December as more consumers felt the confidence needed to move forward with home purchases.

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The ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.realtor.org/ (NAR) reported the figures Friday, showing that total existing-home sales ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô those sales in the process of closing ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô moved forward to 4.61 million in December, up from 4.39 million in November.

The trade group said that existing-home sales arrived at 4.26 million, reflecting a 1.7 percent rise from 4.19 million last year.

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""The pattern of home sales in recent months demonstrates a market in recovery,"" ""Lawrence Yun"":http://www.realtor.org/research/chief_economist_bio, NAR chief economist, said in a statement. ""Record low mortgage interest rates, job growth and bargain home prices are giving more consumers the confidence they need to enter the market.""

Contract failures, frequently responsible for fewer existing-homes sales, stayed the same at 33 percent from November. Investors sopped up 21 percent of homes in December, reflecting a rise from 19 percent in November.

All-cash sales reflected about 31 percent of purchases in December, upward-bound from 28 percent in November. Meanwhile, the national median existing-home prices for all manner of housing arrived at $164,500 in December, 2.5 percent below figures from the same month last year.

""The American dream of homeownership is alive and well. We have a large pent-up demand, and household formation is likely to return to normal as the job market steadily improves,"" added NAR president ""Moe Veissi"":http://www.realtor.org/about_nar/fullbio_veissi.

""More buyers coming into the market mean additional benefits for the overall economy. When people buy homes, they stimulate a lot of related goods and services,"" he said.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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