HOME SALES HIT 13-YEAR LOW:

The number of people who bought previously owned homes last year fell to the lowest level in 13 years, according to figures out Thursday (January 20th) from the National Association of Realtors. High unemployment and a record number of foreclosures are deterring potential buyers who are worried that home prices haven't yet reached the bottom. At the same time, there was some good news at the end of the year, with a 12.8 percent rise in sales from November to December that was the biggest one-month surge in 11 years. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, predicted that home prices would fall another five percent this year, and that it will probably take until 2013 or 2014 for sales to reach a healthy level.