WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans bought new homes last month at the fastest pace in more than two and a half years, adding to other recent evidence that the housing market is steadily recovering.
The Commerce Department says that sales of new homes rose 4.4 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 377,000.
That's the strongest pace since April 2010, when a homebuyer's tax credit boosted sales.
New home sales have increased 15.3 percent in the past year.
Still, the improvement comes from depressed levels. Sales remain below the 700,000 that economists consider healthy.
Rising sales have kept the supply of available homes low, which pushes up prices.
Only 149,000 new homes were for sale at the end of last month, just above a record low of 143,000 in August.
New home sales jumped in November to the highest level in more than two years. The U.S. government is reporting an increase last month rose 4-point-4-percent compared to October. It's the strongest pace of new home sales since April of 20-10
The increase is due to a combination of near-record low mortgage rates, lower unemployment numbers and a drop in foreclosures.
That in turn has lifted home prices.
The housing market is now showing numerous signs of recovery, including better existing home sales and home construction rates.