New home sales fell 2.4% in November but still remained above the 1 million mark for the ninth consecutive month.The U.S. Census Bureau reported that new single-family home sales fell from a seasonally adjusted annual rule of 1.11 million in October to 1.08 in November. Although sales have fallen for the past three months, National Association of Home Builders economists are predicting 2003 sales will total 1.08 million to 1.09 million and beat last year's record by 11%. The only surprise in the November report was an increase in the average home price. The average sales price jumped from $244,000 in October to $274,000 in November. "That is a very big jump," said NAHB economist Michael Carliner said. But the economist admitted that he did not have an explanation for the jump. "It may take a while to figure out," he said.

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