Buyers returned to the market for existing homes in December, despite a sharp rise in mortgage rates following the presidential election.
A monthly survey of signed contracts, so-called "pending" home sales, rose 1.6 percent compared to November and eked out a tiny 0.3 percent gain compared to December of 2015, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Activity was mixed throughout the nation, though, with activity strongest in the South and West but weaker elsewhere. Supply is also playing a key role, as sales continue to be strongest on the higher end of the market, where listings are more abundant. Sales were up about 10 percent year-over-year in December for homes sold at or above $250,000, but homes sold between $100,000 and $250,000 only increased 2.3 percent. Sales of homes under $100,000 were down 11.6 percent compared to a year ago.