Home Sales Rise to 11-Month High

home sales
home sales

WASHINGTON -- Home sales rose in December to the highest pace in nearly a year. The gain coincides with other signs that show the troubled housing market improved at the end of last year

Still, sales remain depressed and ended 2011 well below healthy levels.

The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales increased 5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million, the best level since January 2011 and the third straight monthly increase.

For the year, sales totaled only 4.26 million. While that's up from 4.19 million the previous year, it's below the 6 million that economists equate with healthy housing markets.