New home sales rose 1.3% in November after dropping in October, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. New home sales are now running nearly 17% above the same time last year. That combines with other indicators of strength in housing heading into 2020: homebuilders are more optimistic than they’ve been in the past 20 years; housing permits and starts have hit multiyear highs in recent months; and interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have fallen nearly 1% since late 2018.
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