Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

NAR: Home sales up 4.9% in ’09

Median price rises 1.5% year-over-year in December

While September through November saw a rise in the rate of resale home sales that was fueled at least in part by federal tax credits to homebuyers, December saw a monthly decrease in sales, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors.At the same time, both prices and sales rose year-over-year in December, and total sales grew in 2009 compared to 2008. The rate of resale home sales dropped 16.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million units from 6.54 milllion in November, but rose 15 percent year-over-year, from 4.74 million units. Resale homes include single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and co-ops, the association reported. "It's significant that home sales remain above year-ago levels, but the market is going through a period of swings driven by the tax credit," said Lawrence Yun, the association's chief economist. "By early summer the overall market should benefit from more balanced inventory, and ...