US housing data

WASHINGTON: US home resales rebounded strongly in December from a 19-month low and prices surged, indicating the housing market recovery remained intact despite signs of a sharp deceleration in economic growth in recent months. The National Association of Realtors said on Friday existing home sales jumped a record 14.7 per cent to an annual rate of 5.46 million units, after being temporarily held back by the introduction of new mortgage disclosure rules, which had caused delays in the closing of contracts in November. Sales were also boosted by unseasonably warm weather and buyers rushing into the market in anticipation of higher mortgage rates.