US Home Sales Rose To 5-Year High In 2012, Though Sales Dipped In December
Source: Associated Press
WASHINGTON - U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose in 2012 to their highest level in five years, spurred higher by record-low mortgage rates and steady hiring.
The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales reached 4.65 million last year. That's up 9.2 per cent from 2011 and the most since 2007. Sales are still below the roughly 5.5 million that are consistent with a healthy market.
Sales dipped in December to a pace of 4.94 million, down from 4.99 million in November. November's figure was revised lower, but was still the highest in three years.
The supply of available homes is shrinking as sales rise. That's pushing up prices. The inventory of homes for sale dropped to 1.82 million in December, the lowest in 12 years.
1. Related: Investors, who account for most cash sales, purchased 21 percent of homes...
First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of purchases in December, unchanged from November; they were 31 percent in December 2011.
All-cash sales were at 29 percent of transactions in December, compared with 30 percent in November and 31 percent in December 2011. Investors, who account for most cash sales, purchased 21 percent of homes in December, up from 19 percent in November; they were 21 percent in December 2011.