WASHINGTON - Underscoring the continued weakness of the nation's housing market, sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 11.3% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 355,000 units, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department.

"Today's numbers are an indication of the continued fragility of the new-homes market amidst ongoing economic weakness," said Joe Robson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from Tulsa, OK. "They also show just how important it was that Congress moved when it did to help spur housing demand by extending and expanding the home buyer tax credit beyond its November deadline. We hope to start seeing the intended effects of that move on buyer demand in early 2010 as families determine their purchasing plans following the holidays."

Sales of new single-family homes declined in three out of four regions in November, with only the Midwest posting a gain, of 21.4%. Declines of 3.3%, 21.1% and 9.2% were recorded in the Northeast, South and West, respectively.

Meanwhile, the number of newly built homes on the market continued to decline in November, falling 2.1% to 235,000 units.

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