Salient to Investors:

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 5.5 percent from November 2011, the biggest year-over-year gain since August 2006.

The NAR said the 1.82 million existing homes on the market last month were the fewest since January 2001.

Mortgage rates near a record low are propelling demand that’s outpacing supply. Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was at 3.42 percent last week versus 3.31 percent in November 2012, the lowest rate in data going back to 1972.

Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics Advisors said prices will continue to rise on low inventories of new and existing homes. Shepherdson said nothing attracts buyers faster than the thought that prices will rise further.

Karl Case sees many good signs, but there’s a long way to go before we declare victory. David Blitzer at S&P said housing is clearly recovering and contributing to economic growth.

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