Existing-home sales rose 12.3 percent in December, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. The increase was the fifth in six months and put sales at their highest level since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the pattern over the past six months shows sales are on an uptrend and the market is reaching an adequate, sustainable level. Total housing inventory fell 4.2 percent at the end of December, which represents an 8.1-month supply at the current sales pace. More here and here.