2013 Existing Homes Sales Soared 9.1%

The median 2013 existing-home price was $197,100, 11.5% higher than 2012's number and the strongest gain since 2005.

Jan 23, 2014 at 2:26PM

Sales of existing homes increased 1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.87 million for December, according to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) report released today. 2013 existing-home sales came in at their highest full-year level since 2006, jumping 9.1% from 2012 to 5.09 million sales.

After a steeper-than-expected dip in November, analysts had hoped for a slightly stronger December rebound to 4.9 million. 

2013 sales soared 9.1% higher, to 5.09 million total sales, over 2012. The numbers include completed transactions on single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and co-ops.

"Existing-home sales have risen nearly 20 percent since 2011, with job growth, record low mortgage interest rates and a large pent-up demand driving the market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, in a statement today. "We lost some momentum toward the end of 2013 from disappointing job growth and limited inventory, but we ended with a year that was close to normal given the size of our population."

As sales headed higher, prices have increased accordingly. The median 2013 existing-home price was $197,100, 11.5% higher than 2012's number and the strongest gain since 2005..

At current December levels and sales pace, the existing housing inventory equates to a 4.6-month supply, down significantly from November's 5.1 months.


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A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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