Cycle returned to the upswing in 2012 in the US Household Investment area, despite a headline dip on monthly series basis:
- Sales of existing homes in the US fell 1% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. The rate in November was revised down to 4.99 million from an estimate of 5.04 million released earlier. This was the highest rate of sales since November 2009.
- Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist: "Record low mortgage interest rates clearly are helping many home buyers, but tight inventory and restrictive mortgage underwriting standards are limiting sales."
- On annual basis, existing-home sales are up 12.8% from 2011.
- The median existing-home price rose 11.5% from 2011 to $180,800.
- Overall over 2012, existing-home sales hit 4.65 million annual rate of sales, the highest rate since 2007 and up 9.2% on full year 2011.
- The median price reached $176,600 in 2012, rising 6.3% on 2011 and marking the highest annual growth since 2005
The Calculated Risk has an excellent analysis of underlying data: http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/01/existing-home-sales-another-solid-report.html
Chart from Calculated Risk summarising trends: