Existing-home sales in the U.S. hit a ten year high in 2016, ending the year with 5.45 million sales versus 5.25 million sales in 2015 and 6.48 million sales in 2006.

At the same time, the seasonally adjusted pace of sales dropped 2.8 percent from November to December, which could foreshadow a slowing pace of sales at the start of 2017.

And the median price for the existing homes that traded hands in December ($232,200) also slipped a percent ($2,700) from the month before but remains 4 percent higher versus the same time last year ($223,200), while the inventory of homes on the market dropped 10.8 percent to 1.65 million and is running 6.3 percent lower on a year-over-year basis (as opposed to 30 percent higher in San Francisco).

In the West, the pace of existing-home sales dropped 4.8 percent in December to 1.2 million sales, down 1.6 percent versus 2015.

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