December existing home sales rise by 6.5 percent (AP)

In this Jan. 20, 2009 file photo, bank repo,  foreclosure and for sale signs sit outside a foreclosed home in Houston. Most congressional Democrats say the quickest way to save homeowners is to let them declare bankruptcy and allow judges to dictate new mortgage terms. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)AP – A real estate group says sales of existing homes rose 6.5 percent from November to December, closing out the worst year for the U.S. real estate market in more than a decade.

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