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Another month, another increase. Existing-home sales rose 5.9 percent in November according to a recent report by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). Existing-home sales, which include recently purchased single family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops were up to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.04 million units expected to sell in 2012. This represents a 14.5 percent increase over the pace set last year at this time.

Demand is strong, says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Momentum continues to build in the housing market from growing jobs and a bursting out of household formation,” he said. “With lower rental vacancy rates and rising rents, combined with still historically favorable affordability conditions, more people are buying homes. Areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy show storm-related disruptions but overall activity in the Northeast is up, offset by gains in unaffected areas.”