U.S. existing-home sales reach 3-year high

Sales of existing houses increased 5.9% last month, to an annual rate of 5.04 million, the highest level since November 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. If the November 2009 number, which reflects impending expiration of a first-time-buyer tax credit, is excluded, sales were the strongest since July 2007, before the financial crisis and the recession.

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