Sales of existing single-family homes jumped 6.7% in November after falling 2% in October, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun sees the rise in activity as a sign the housing market is recovering, thanks to steady job creation in the private sector and favorable interest rates and home prices.

"Although mortgage rates have ticked up in recent weeks, overall conditions remain extremely favorable for buyers who can obtain credit," Yun said.

NAR reported that sales of previously owned single-family homes increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.15 million in November from a 3.89 million rate in October.

Until October, existing single-family home sales (excluding condos and cooperatives) had risen from July through September.

"The market is recovering and we should trend up to a healthy, sustainable level in 2011," Yun said.

NAR also reported that the price of a median existing single-family home rose to $171,300 in November, a 1.2% gain from a year ago.

In other home sales news, California has seen sales rise, although prices have dropped.

Distressed sales contributed to a 9.2% month-to-month climb in California’s resales of detached single-family homes as the median price dropped below the $300,000 mark for the first time since February.

While distressed sales of this type are helping boost this category of existing home sales to an extent, the California Association of Realtors said in a report it believes distressed sales are ultimately continuing to hamper recovery. Delays in short sales, in particular, are a concern.

November’s median price for single-family detached homes was $296,820. This was down 2.4% from October’s $304,220 median price and down 2.5% from the revised $304,550 median price recorded for the same period a year ago. It was the first year-over-year price decline in a year.

Closed escrow sales of homes in this category totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 490,950 in November. While this was up 9.2% from October’s revised pace of 449,480 it was down 8.6% from the revised 536,940 sales pace seen in November 2009.

 

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