WASHINGTON — U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose 5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million in December, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. The rate was the highest since January, 2011.
For all of 2011, sales totaled 4.26 million, compared with 4.19 million in the previous year. But it’s far below the 6 million that economists equate with healthy housing markets. In 2005, at the peak of the boom, 7.1 million homes were sold.