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Sales of Existing Homes Up Slightly in December

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-01_35eab6bb30.jpgCreatas/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- Sales of existing homes in the United States rose 1 percent in December, making 2013 the strongest year for home sales since 2006. There were a total of 5.09 million sales in 2013, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors, released Thursday; that figure is 9.1 percent higher than it was in 2012.

“We've seen a pretty healthy recovery over the last two years,” said NAR spokesman Walter Malony. “Sales rose nearly 20 percent with job growth, record-low mortgage interest rates and a very large pent up demand driving the overall market.”

“We did lose some momentum toward the end of the year with disappointing job growth and limited inventory,” Malony said, “but with jobs expected to improve this year, sales should hold even -- despite rising prices and higher interest rates.”

Existing homes sold at an average of $198,000 last month.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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