Home sales ended last year strong, according to a report by RE/MAX, which indicates a substantially higher number of homes came off the nation's market in December than the month before.
The property data shows a 5.7 percent month-to-month increase in home sales, as well as a 1.1 percent uptick from December 2010. Typically, home sales in December fall from November, according to the report.
Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO, said she was taken by surprise to see home sales finish 2011 on such a high note.
"This December jump may be due to increased investor involvement and transactions that were scheduled to occur before the end of the year," said Kelly, "but with prices at or very near the bottom and historically low interest rates, consumers are finding real value in this market."
As sales surged, home prices remained stable from a month earlier, finishing the year with a median sales price of $179,587. However, this was down from the year before.
It's expected home sales should be high during spring, as mortgage rates remain near historic lows and prices begin to stabilize. However, Reuters reports many Americans continue to tap their savings to help them get through economic hardships, despite recent improvements in the economy.