WASHINGTON (February 21, 2013)--Sales of previously occupied homes rose in January to the second-highest level in three years, a sign the housing market is maintaining its recovery and helping to bolster the economy, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.
The association said sales rose 0.4 percent in January compared with December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million, the second-highest sales pace since November 2009, when a temporary home buyer tax credit had temporarily boosted sales.
The median price for a home sold in January was $173,600, an increase of 12.3 percent from a year ago.
Analysts say purchases would be higher if more homes were available.
The supply of homes for sale dropped to nearly an eight-year low in January.