Low mortgage rates and job gains are continuing to boost the housing market, with sales of existing homes at the highest level in three years and new housing construction up 21.6% in November from a year earlier.
Homes were being sold last month at an annual pace of 5.04 million, the National Assn. of Realtors said in an updateThursday.
It was the highest rate of sales for November since 2009, when a federal housing tax credit was about to expire. Excluding that month, sales were the highest since July 2007.
The national median price for a home being resold was $180,600 in November, up 10.1% from a year earlier -- the ninth straight monthly year-over-year price gain, the Realtors group said.
"Momentum continues to build in the housing market from growing jobs and a bursting out of household formation," said Lawrence Yun, economist for the trade group. "With lower rental vacancy rates and rising rents, combined with still historically favorable affordability conditions, more people are buying homes.â€