Sales of Existing Homes Firm, Prices Slip

WASHINGTON (AP) - For the second time in two days, there's a sign that the housing market has firmed recently.

A real estate trade group says sales of previously-owned homes rose six-tenths of one percent last month. At the same time, the National Association of Realtors says the price of homes sold dropped for a fourth straight month.

Sales had risen one-half of a percent in October, marking the first back-to-back sales gains since spring 2005.

The median price of an existing home sold dropped to 218-thousand. That's down more than three percent from a year ago.

The Commerce Department reported that new home sales rose 3.4 percent last month.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)