Central Ohio real estate agents got an early Christmas present Tuesday when the Columbus Board of Realtors released sales figures for November.

Central Ohio real estate agents got an early Christmas present Tuesday when the Columbus Board of Realtors released sales figures for November.

November home sales figures were the highest in four years and up nearly 60 percent over November 2008.

Home sales climbed 59.5 percent from November 2008 levels with 1,839 listings sold. That was the highest number reported since November 2005.

"Historically low interest rates and the tax credits for home buyers put first-time buyers in an ideal position to take advantage of the market," Columbus Board of Realtors president Gary Parsons said. "With the expansion of the tax credit, we expect to see more renewable buyers enter the market in 2010."

When the $8,000 first-time, home-buyer tax credit was renewed in October, the program was expanded to include a $6,500 tax credit for homeowners looking to purchase a new home.

Parsons said those renewable buyers -- homeowners who wish to purchase a new house -- have been slow to return to the market. But he believes that as prices continue to stabilize, more renewable buyers will find new homes.