US new home sales jump to highest in 2 ½ years

A "sold" sign sits out in front of a home currently under construction at the Winthrop subdivision Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, in Riverview, Fla. Sales of new homes in the United States dipped slightly in August from July but the median price of homes sold during the month rose by a record amount. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
December 27, 2012 2:24:50 PM PST
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 that sales of new homes rose 4.4 percent 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 percent in the past year. Still, 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.


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