U.S. existing home sales edged up in January from the previous month, indicating further recovery of the property market, a leading U.S. industry group reported on Thursday.
Existing home sales, which tally completed transactions for single-family houses, townhouses and condominiums, rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million units last month from a downwardly revised 4.90 million in December 2012, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a report.
The level was 9.1 percent higher than the 4.51 million units registered in January 2012, said the NAR.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that tight inventory is a major factor hampering the U.S. housing market recovery. "Buyer traffic is continuig to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady," he noted.
"In fact, buyer traffic is 40 percent above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We've transitioned into a seller's market in much of the country," Yun added.
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