The existing-home sales stats for 2011 are out today; here are Diana’s comments from cnbc:

Home sales rose in December to the highest pace in nearly a year. The gain coincides with other signs that show the troubled housing market improved at the end of last year.  Still, sales remain depressed and ended 2011 well below healthy levels.

The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales increased 5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million, the best level since January 2011 and the third straight monthly increase.

For the year, sales totaled only 4.26 million. While that’s up from 4.19 million the previous year, it’s below the 6 million that economists equate with healthy housing markets.

Sales are increasing at a time when the market is flashing other positive signs. Mortgage rates are at record-low levels. Homebuilders have grown slightly less pessimistic because more people are saying they might be open to buying a home this year. And home construction picked up in the final quarter of last year.

The median sales price rose 2.3 percent to $164,500 in December.

The glut of unsold homes declined to 2.38 million homes. At last month’s sales pace, it would take a nearly 7 months to clear those homes. Analysts say a healthy supply can be cleared in about six months.

Once last year she mentioned that we should keep our focus on local market activity – let’s do that!

Detached-Home Sales and Pricing:

Area 2010 Sales 2011 Sales Diff 2010 $/sf 2011 $/sf Diff
SD Co.

For the comparison by zip code, click here.

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