" Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. fell more than forecast in November and prices dropped by the most on record, indicating the real estate slump will extend into a fourth year and worsen the recession.

Purchases declined 8.6 percent to an annual rate of 4.49 million, from a 4.91 million rate in October that was less than previously estimated, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The median price dropped 13.2 percent from a year earlier, the biggest decline since records started in 1968. Separately, the Commerce Department reported today that new-home sales fell 2.9 percent last month to a 17-year low."

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