U.S. Existing-Home Sales Jumped in November

By Sarah Chaney and Ben LeubsdorfFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose in November to the strongest pace in more than a decade, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

Existing-home sales increased 5.6% in November from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million, the strongest reading since December 2006, the trade group said.

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Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected sales would rise a more modest 0.7% to a 5.52 million annual rate last month.

"Faster economic growth in recent quarters, the booming stock market and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

Sales in November were up 3.8% from a year earlier and grew in all regions except in the West.

There was a 3.4-month supply of homes on the market at the end of the month, the lowest in records that go back to 1999. The supply shortage is, in turn, driving prices higher, Mr. Yun said. The median sales price in November was $248,000, up 5.8% from a year earlier.

Home sales moved lower this summer but ticked back up in the fall, as sales in areas hit by late-summer hurricanes, including Houston, Orlando and other major markets, showed gains from previous months, Mr. Yun has earlier said.

News Corp., owner of The Wall Street Journal, also operates Realtor.com under license from the National Association of Realtors.

Write to Sarah Chaney at sarah.chaney@wsj.com and Ben Leubsdorf at ben.leubsdorf@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 20, 2017 10:15 ET (15:15 GMT)