Home sales decline nationwide: NAR

January 25, 2010 01:01PM

Existing home sales fell nationwide in December, according to data released today by the National Association of Realtors. Existing home sales in December hit 5.45 million units, according to NAR, marking a 16.7 percent drop from the prior month when 6.54 million units were sold. The drop had been expected by many analysts, including Lawrence Yun, chief economist with NAR, due to the original November deadline for the first-time homebuyer tax credit. “The market is going through a period of swings driven by the tax credit,” Yun said. “We’ll likely have another surge in the spring as homebuyers take advantage of the extended and expanded tax credit.” Overall, the market is showing a few signs of stability, with the December existing home sales data up 15 percent over the same month a year earlier, when 4.74 million units were recorded sold. Additionally, year-over-year median prices showed a moderate uptick, with December 2009 showing a $178,300 median price on existing homes, 1.5 percent over December 2008. Yun said he anticipates 2010 to see continued movement toward stability. “By early summer the overall market should benefit from more balanced inventory, and sales are on track to rise again in 2010,” Yun said. TRD