According to estimates from the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales, including single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, rose 4.0 percent in November over October’s rate and were up 12.2 percent over the 3.94 million-unit pace in November 2010. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said sales reached the highest mark in 10 months and are 34 percent above the cyclical low point reached in mid-2010. Yun believes the gains in contract activity signal that people are realizing the great opportunity that exists in today’s market for buyers with long-term plans. Total housing inventory dropped 5.8 percent to 2.58 million homes available for sale, which represents a 7.0-month supply at the current sales pace. The national median existing-home price was $164,200 in November. More here.