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December existing home sales show hope

Existing home sales went up in December of 2011.

Existing home sales went up in December of 2011.

With the economy beginning to make a slow recovery, various industries are posting positive numbers. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales continued to rise in December for the third consecutive month.

The latest data show existing home sales increased 5 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.61 million in December, up from 4.39 million in November. Data also showed that the December 2011 numbers were an improvement from 4.45 million unit sales in December 2010.

“The American dream of homeownership is alive and well," said Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc. in Miami. "We have a large pent-up demand, and household formation is likely to return to normal as the job market steadily improves. More buyers coming into the market mean additional benefits for the overall economy."

Existing home sales increased 1.7 percent in 2011 to 4.26 million from 4.19 million posted in 2010. The national average commitment rate for a 30-year conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low of 3.96 percent in December from 3.99 percent in November, according to Freddie Mac.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, production of new single-family homes also rose 4.4 percent in December, marking the third consecutive month of increase, which might encourage families to price relocation cost.