Home Resales See Small Surprise Rise

November figures don't mean relief from housing-market woes
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2007 12:48 PM CST
A new home is shown under construction Friday, Dec. 28, 2007 in a Columbus, Ohio subdivision. Sales of new homes plunged last month to their lowest level in more than 12 years, a grim testament to the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 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.