Nov. 28, 2006 -- Sales of existing homes rose unexpectedly in October by 0.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.24 million, the National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday.

Despite the gains, which were the first in eight months, sales were 11.5 percent below October 2005, the report said.

"After a period of price adjustment, we'll see more confidence in the market and a lift to home sale should be apparent in the first quarter of 2007," David Lereah, the group's chief economist, said in a statement.

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