Existing Home Sales Increase In November

Data raise the possibility the housing market is turning.

For the second consecutive month, sales of existing homes increased in November, raising the possibility that the depressed U.S. housing market may be recovering.

Total sales -- including sales of single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and coops -- were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.28 million units in November, up six-tenths of a percentage point from October's rate of 6.24 million units, the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on Dec. 28. November sales were, however, 10.7% below the rate of 7.03 million units in November 2005.

"As the housing market recovers from its correction, existing home sales should be rising gradually during 2007," said NAR Chief Economist David Lereah. "We've entered a more sustainable period of home sales now, and we expect greater support for prices over time, as inventory levels are eventually drawn down."

At the end of November 3.82 million existing homes were available for sale, a 7.3-month supply at current sales rates. The national median sales price for existing homes was $218,000 in November.

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