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Home Sales Jumped to Five-Year High in 2012

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Home sales slipped by 1 percent in December to a pace of 4.94 million, according to the latest figures released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors.  But despite the drop, numbers for all of last year were strong, marking yet another sign that the housing market is rebounding.

"Total sales in 2012 were the highest in five years, while the annual median price rose the most since 2005," Walter Molony with the National Association of Realtors tells ABC News Radio.

He says sales were spurred by record-low mortgage rates and steady hiring.

"People who were on the sidelines during the recession started entering the market early last year when their financial ability and confidence grew and job creation will fuel more growth but it will be uneven month to month," Molony says.

However, he points outs, sales are still below levels that are considered healthy.

"Pent up demand is sustaining the market and record low mortgage rates are helping many buyers but tight inventory and restrictive mortgage standards are limiting sales," he says.

Molony adds, "Unless we see more construction activity, that's the biggest risk going forward.  Our concern is that if we don't have enough inventory, there could be excessive pressure on prices and that's something we want to avoid."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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