December Home Sales Up Nearly 13% Over 2012

Washington, DC, Jan. 22, 2013 -- Home resales declined 1% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million, the National Association of Realtors said.

"Record low mortgage interest rates clearly are helping many home buyers, but tight inventory and restrictive mortgage underwriting standards are limiting sales," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.

The rate in November was revised down to 4.99 million from a prior estimate of 5.04 million, which was the highest rate since November 2009.

Nevertheless, December existing-home sales were up 12.8% from the prior year.

The median existing-home price rose 11.5% from the prior year to $180,800.