The number of previously owned homes sold last year was the most in any year since 2006, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors. Sales of existing homes reached 5.64 million in 2020, a 5.6 percent increase over the year before. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says the gains will likely continue. “Home sales rose in December, and for 2020 as a whole, we saw sales perform at their highest levels since 2006, despite the pandemic,” Yun said. “What’s even better is that this momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market.” There are a couple of reasons Yun believes buyers will be active this year. One is mortgage rates, which are expected to rise slightly but remain historically low. The other is improving economic conditions due to additional stimulus and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine. This combination makes it likely the housing market will have another busy year in 2021.