Economists expect that more contracts to buy previously owned homes were initiated in November than the previous month, which would be the fourth increase in five months. However, the housing market continues to face challenges, including the persistently high unemployment rate. "We had an artificial boost in the spring as the homebuyer tax credit was set to expire," said Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Capital. "Housing will remain at pretty low levels through next year."

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