Sales of previously owned homes climbed in December for the first time in five months, capping the best year since 2006 and indicating the real-estate market is starting to adjust to higher borrowing costs.
Purchases rose 1 percent to a 4.87 million annual pace, the National Association of Realtors reported today in Washington. Other reports showed claims for jobless benefits held last week near the lowest level in more than a month and the index of leading indicators climbed in December.
Faster employment growth, rising property values and a decline in consumer debt are giving would-be buyers the confidence to take the plunge into homeownership. Growing demand will also spur new construction and home improvements that will boost gross domestic product in 2014.