US home sales rise
US home resales increased 0.6 percent in November,
industry data showed, suggesting the slumping property market is stabilizing.
The National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales amounted to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.28 million units in November, well ahead of the 6.15 million figure expected on Wall Street. This followed a 0.5 percent increase in October.
The November sales level was 10.7 percent below the pace of a year ago, reflecting the tumble in the real estate market after years of spectacular growth.
"As the housing market recovers from its correction, existing-home sales should be rising gradually during 2007 -- it looks like we may have reached the low point for the current cycle in September," he said.
"We've entered a more sustainable period of home sales now, and we expect greater support for prices over time as inventory levels are eventually drawn down."
The latest report showed housing inventory levels fell 1.0 percent at the end of November to 3.82 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.3-month supply at the current sales pace.