~~The home sales reached a seven year high in 2013, 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 rose 1 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted 4.87 million units for the year. There were 5.09 million existing homes sold throughout 2013, which is a 9 percent improvement over 2012.

Existing Home Sales By Region

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun sees the national real estate market benefiting from an economic turnaround. "Existing-home sales have risen nearly 20 percent since 2011, with job growth, record low mortgage interest rates and a large pent-up demand driving the market," he said. "We lost some momentum toward the end of 2013 from disappointing job growth and limited inventory, but we ended with a year that was close to normal given the size of our population."

Nationally, the median time for homes to sell was 72 days in December, a decrease from 56 days for November, and on par with 73 day pace recorded in December 2012.