American consumers probably earned and spent more in November, giving real estate agents reason to expect business will improve in 2010, economists said before reports this week.

The National Association of Realtors is expected to report today that purchases of existing homes rose 2.5% in November to an annual pace of 6.25 million, the highest level since February 2007.

The Commerce Department on Dec. 23 is likely to report that sales of new homes rose 1.9%, to a 438,000 annual pace last month, the fastest since August 2008, according to the median estimate of 60 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Gains in the housing market may prove uneven as foreclosures mount. About 306,627 properties received a default or auction notice or were seized by banks last month and a similar number is expected this month, according to RealtyTrac Inc.

The government's final figure for third-quarter gross domestic product may show the economy expanded at a 2.8% annual rate, matching last month's estimate, according to the survey median.

A slowdown in the pace of job cuts and higher stock prices are boosting consumer sentiment.

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