Existing Home Sales Plunged 16.7% in December

The nearly year-long, positive trend in the U.S. housing sector ended 2009 on a sour note, as existing home sales plunged 16.7% in December to a 5.45 million-unit annualized rate, the National Association of Realtors announced Monday. Sales fell as the federal government's original tax credit program expired. December's existing sales tumble was the largest one-month drop since the NAR started keeping records for this statistic.