Existing home sales rise in 2020 to highest in 14 years

A "sale pending" sign is posted on.a home in Westfield, Ind., Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Sales of new homes remained steady in October at a seasonally adjusted rate of 999,000 units. While the Commerce Department said October new home sales were down 0.3% from September, the government revised up its September figure marginally. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
A "sale pending" sign is posted on.a home in Westfield, Ind., Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Sales of new homes remained steady in October at a seasonally adjusted rate of 999,000 units. While the Commerce Department said October new home sales were down 0.3% from September, the government revised up its September figure marginally. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – Sales of existing homes rose 0.7% in December, pushing the entirety of 2020 to a pace not seen in 14 years and providing one of the few bright spots for a U.S. economy mired in a global pandemic.

Rising sales in the final month of the year lifted activity to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million units, the National Association of Realtors reported Friday.

Sales rose to 6.48 million in 2020, the highest level since 2006 at the height of the housing boom.

The median sales prices was $309,800 in December, up 12.9% from a year ago.