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New home sales jump 4.4% in November

10:24 AM, Dec 27, 2012   |    comments
The home building industry is "getting better but we were very ill, and the convalescence period will be very long," says David Crowe, chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders.(Photo: Jessica Brandi Lifland for USA TODAY)
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WASHINGTON -- Americans bought new homes last month at the fastest pace in more than two and a half years, adding to other recent evidence that the housing market is steadily recovering.

The Commerce Department says sales of new homes rose 4.4% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 377,000. That's the strongest pace since April 2010, when a homebuyer's tax credit boosted sales.

New home sales have increased 15.3% in the past year, although the improvement comes from depressed levels. Sales remain below the 700,000 that economists consider healthy.

Rising sales have kept the supply of available homes low, which pushes up prices. Only 149,000 new homes were for sale at the end of last month, just above a record low of 143,000 in August.

Associated Press

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