Existing-home sales rose unexpectedly in November, although not enough to suggest that the economy is over the housing slump, Bloomberg reports. Resales rose 0.4% to an annual rate of 5 million, up from October’s record-low pace, but the year-over-year figure represents a 20% drop. The median price dropped 3.3% relative to November 2006, to $210,200.
"There are some mixed signals coming from the housing market and I think overall the trend is toward weaker sales in the next quarter,'' said one economist. Home supply in November fell 3.6% to 4.27 million, or 10.3 months' supply—still high enough to suggest that further price cuts may be needed to stimulate sales growth, especially as stricter mortgage credit rules exert downward pressure on sales.