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