NAR reports surge in US homes sales in December

| January 20, 2011 | 0 Comments
NAR reports surge in US homes sales in December

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has today revealed sales of previously owned homes in the US rose more than expected in December.

The industry body said sales grew 12.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.28 million units - beating forecasts of 4.85 million units.

Economists had expected a lower reading due to the bad weather that gripped parts of the country during the month.

However, the figure was 2.9% below the rate in December 2009, due to the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. As a result, 2010 represented the slowest year for existing home sales since 1997, according to the NAR.

Sales reached a high of 7 million units annually in September 2005 as the housing bubble reached its peak. However, they slumped to a 15-year low in the summer of 2010, to below 4 million units.

In related news, yesterday the Commerce Department revealed a decline in US housing starts for the month of December – partly attributed to the bad weather.

According to the Commerce Department, construction of new US homes fell 4.3% on a monthly basis to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 units – down from November’s rate of 553,000 and way below forecasts for a rate of 550,000.

This represented the second lowest build rate since records began in 1959.

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