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Sales of newly built homes rose 5.5% in November

December 23, 2010 |  7:32 am

New-home sales rose 5.5% in November, the government said Thursday, the second encouraging sign this week that the housing market is showing signs of stability.

But many analysts expect the housing market to remain weak as long as the labor market struggles to add jobs at a significant clip.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that newly built, single-family homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 290,000 units in November.

On Wednesday, a real estate industry group said sales of previously owned homes improved last month.

Sales of newly built homes remain 21.2% below November 2009 and have been weak this year ever since collapsing over the summer when the main government stimulus fueling the market (federal tax credits for buyers) vanished.

The median price for all U.S. homes sold in November was $213,000, a 2% decline from November 2009. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 197,000. This represents a supply of about eight months at the current pace.

-- Alejandro Lazo