Sales of existing homes rose 0.6% in November and inventories of unsold homes fell 1%, providing more signs that the housing market is close to bottoming out.The National Association of Realtors reported that November sales of previously owned single-family homes, condominiums, and cooperatives rose from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.24 million in October to 6.28 million in November -- down 10.7% from the level recorded in November 2005. "It appears from looking at the numbers that existing-home sales hit bottom in September at 6.21 million," NAR chief economist David Lereah said. However, house prices dropped 3.1% in November for the fourth consecutive month, and the NAR economist said he expects to see further price declines in December and possibly in January and February. Meanwhile, the inventory of unsold existing homes has remained relatively stable since July. The number of unsold homes on the market fell 1% to 3.82 million in November, which is a 7.3-month supply at the current sales pace.

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