Realtors report home sales at highest level in 3 years

U.S. sales of previously occupied homes jumped to

U.S. sales of previously occupied homes jumped to their highest level in three years last month, bolstered by steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates, according to a national report released Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 by the National Association of Realtors. (Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz, 2011)

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. sales of previously occupied homes jumped to their highest level in three years last month, bolstered by steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates.

The National Association of Realtors says sales rose 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in November. That's up from 4.76 million in October.

Previously occupied home sales are on track for their best year in five years. November's sales were the highest since November 2009, when a federal tax credit that was scheduled to expire spurred sales. Excluding that month, last month's sales were the highest since July 2007.

Sales are up 14.5 percent from a year ago, though they remain below the roughly 5.5 million that are consistent with a healthy market.

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