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There were more signs of life in the US housing market, as existing home sales chalked up back-to-back months of growth in November.

That followed data on Tuesday that showed new home construction rose by the most in three months during November, following a weak period through the US summer and autumn that led many analysts to brand housing the weakest part of the domestic economy.

Still, the weakness seen earlier in the year as mortgage rates climbed towards their highest level in seven years was evident in home sales being down 7 per cent year-on-year, for the steepest pace of decline since 2011.

Existing home sales rose 1.9 per cent month-on-month in November, higher than October’s 1.4 per cent gain, and topping expectations for a 0.6 per cent decline, according to a Thomson Reuters survey of economists. It was the biggest jump since February.

A total of 5.32m homes were sold, an increase of 10,000 from October, versus expectations for sales of 5.2m.

The housing market has been regarded by many economists as one of the weakest parts of an overall robust US economy. Although existing home sales today and housing starts data from Tuesday were upbeat, a gauge of US homebuilder confidence fell to its lowest level in more than three and a half years this month.

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