For 2003 6,100,000 pre-existing homes sold, up from 5,566,000 in 2002. In December these home sales increased by 6.9 percent to 6.47 million units from 6.05 million in November. November 2003's sales increased 8.9 percent from November one year earlier.
NAR's chief economist, David Lerah, was surprised by this data, given that most experts have been expecting home sales to slow slightly.
"The rebound in December - the second highest monthly pace on record - shows there's still a lot of life in this market," Lerah said.
He may be right.
New home sales exceeded one million for all of 2003, reaching 1.085 million, up from 973,000 in 2002. December saw sales reach 1.060 million units, slightly down from November's 1.117 units.
Both new home sales and pre-existing home sales continue to be strong, only in part, experts believe, due to low interest rates.
Information from RisMedia.com was used for this report.