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Homes sales climb in November as depth of housing slump illuminated

Dec 25, 2011 Philip Burgess

Sales of previously occupied homes jumped substantially in November from the previous month, as analysts revised figures from last year to show a much deeper housing crash. According to the National Association of Realtors, November home sales climbed 4 percent from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million, considerably higher than the 2 percent projected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires. However, the NAR also reported that it had overstated sales between 2007 and 2010 by 14.3 percent. Sales averaged 4.42 million units per year over that period - not the 5.16 million the group previously reported. Nonetheless, analysts were largely optimistic about the figures for November. "The housing market is finding its bottom, and that will translate into more growth in GDP and less of a drag on consumer confidence," Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica in Dallas, told Reuters. "But we still have a long, long way to go." The slowly improving housing market threatens to mire the rest of the economic recovery, marking a trend that would be exacerbated by weak job creation.