Existing US home sales reach highest since February 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) Americans bought homes in November in the fastest pace in nearly a decade, despite a shortage of houses for sale.

The National Association of Realtors says that sales of existing homes rose 0.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million. That was up from a downwardly revised 5.57 million in October and the highest since sales hit a 5.79 million pace in February 2007. Sales were up 15 percent from a year earlier.

Fewer than 1.9 million homes were on the market, down 9 percent from a year earlier. The tight supply pushed the median price to $234,900 last month, up 6.8 percent from a year ago.

A healthy job market has brought buyers into the market.