Despite projections that 2011 would be the worst year ever for existing-home sales, the numbers came in 1.6 percent higher than in 2010. December activity saw volume up 5 percent from November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.61 million units, marking the third consecutive month of gains. Also encouraging hopes for an impending rebound was the inventory of for-sale homes, which shrank last month to the lowest level in five years. Economists stopped short of declaring a recovery, however, noting that home prices are still falling. | Read More