Total existing home sales are 9.1% higher in 2013 than the sales  levels were  in 2012.  The 5.09 million homes sold were the most since 2006! The median home price was $197,100, up 11.5% from last year.  This represents the highest increase since 2005. Inventory is 1.6% greater than a year ago representing a 4.6 month supply.  Distressed homes are down, accounting for 14 percent  of all sales in December. Last December they were 24 percent.

In inflation news, the Producer Price Index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level, rose in December for the first time in three months. However, the Consumer Price Index for December showed there is not much inflation pressure at the consumer level. Also of note, Retail Sales in December rose by 0.2 percent, above expectations.

The bottom line is that now remains a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance, as home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels!