The U.S. housing market is in full recovery mode, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. The trade organization revealed the sales of previously owned homes reached a five-year high in 2012, although it still remains below what is traditionally considered to be a healthy market.

An increase in hiring and record-low mortgage rates played a lead role in the spike in homebuying activity across the country, according to the report. Analysts are predicting the steady recovery of the housing market should continue without interruption in 2013.

According to the report, sales of previously owned homes came in at 4.65 million in 2012. That was the most since 2007 and a solid 9.2 percent jump from 2011. While those numbers are encouraging, experts say a truly healthy market will usually see around 5.5 million homes change hands in a given year.

There were several other tidbits to parse from the Associated Press report. A continued shrinking of housing inventory helped to drive up home prices, but it has also re-ignited home building to levels not seen since 2009.

CoreLogic reported home prices jumped by 7.4 percent annual rate in November and that the average price of a home in 2013 should rise an additional 6 percent.