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Sales of existing homes up 0.7% in December, pushing 2020 sales pace to a level not seen in 14 years

by AP News.

Sales of existing homes rose 0.7% in December, pushing the entirety of 2020 to a pace not seen in 14 years and providing one of the few bright spots for a U.S. economy mired in a global pandemic.

“Home sales rose in December, and for 2020 as a whole, we saw sales perform at their highest levels since 2006, despite the pandemic,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “What’s even better is that this momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market.”

Yun predicts a continuation of the strong activity that’s currently taking place in the housing market and in the overall economy.

“Although mortgage rates are projected to increase, they will continue to hover near record lows at around 3%,” Yun said. “Moreover, expect economic conditions to improve with additional stimulus forthcoming and vaccine distribution already underway.”

Rising sales in the final month of the year lifted activity to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million units, the National Association of Realtors reported Friday.

Sales rose to 6.48 million in 2020, the highest level since 2006 at the height of the housing boom.

The median sales prices was $309,800 in December, up 12.9% from a year ago.

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