More good housing news to close out the year: Americans bought new homes last month at the fastest pace in more than 2.5 years, according to the Commerce Department.

In November, the sales of new homes increased 4.4 percent from October, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 377,000, the highest level since April 2010. The rate that economists consider healthy is 700,000, the Associated Press reported.

The glut of extra homes built before the housing bust has mostly been sold off; only 149,000 new residences were for sale at the end of November, just above the low of 143,000 in August, according to Commerce Department data.

The rate of home construction is almost 22 percent higher than a year ago, and builder confidence is at a 6.5-year high, according to a report by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo.

Experts attribute the uptick in new-home purchases to steady employment gains and record-low mortgage rates. Although new homes are a fraction of the housing market, they have an oversize effect on the economy; every home built generates an average of three jobs for a year and $90,000 in tax revenue, according to statistics from the National Association of Home Builders.

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