Monday, January 23, 2012

Home sales pace increases in December, third month in a row

WASHINGTON – Home sales in December reached the highest pace in nearly a year. The gain coincided with other signs that the troubled U.S. housing market improved at the end of2011.
Analysts caution that sales remain historically low and it will take years for the home market to return to full health.
Still, the third straight monthly sales increase was encouraging. And economists noted that conditions are in place for further gains this year:
Prices have declined. Mortgage rates have never been lower. Homebuilders are slightly more hopeful because more people are saying they might be open to buying this year. And home construction picked up in the final quarter last year.
Sales rose across the country in December. They rose on a seasonal basis more than 10% in the Northeast, 8.3% in the Midwest, 2.9% in the South and 2.6% in the West.

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