U.S. home sales climb 5.6 percent in November to 11-year high

FWHR November

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans purchased homes at the fastest pace in nearly 11 years, as sales climbed 5.6 percent in November.

The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes rose last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million units. Home sales were last this strong in December 2006, when properties sold at annual pace of 6.42 million.

Last month’s surge in home sales appears to have further squeezed would-be buyers who face a declining supply of homes on the market. The number of homes for sale has declined 9.7 percent from a year ago to 1.67 million properties.

The limited inventory has caused home values to rise faster than wages. The median home sales price increased 5.8 percent from a year ago to $248,000 in November.