OTTAWA - Sales of existing homes in Canada jumped 73 percent in November from a year earlier, just below the record high for the month, in a sign that consumer confidence is recovering as the economy pulls out of recession.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said on Tuesday that 36,383 homes changed hands in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, 0.4 percentage points below the record high set in November 2007.

In Ontario and Quebec, home sales did hit record highs for November, it said.

As we predicted last April, the rebound in resale housing activity led the overall Canadian economy out of recession, CREA President Dale Rippinger said in a statement.

Existing home sales rose 5 percent in the first 11 months of this year compared with the same period of 2008, but were below levels for that period in each of the three preceding years.

The average national price in November rose 19 percent from a year earlier to C$337,231 ($318,142). Year-to-date, the average price was up 4.4 percent from the same period of 2008. ($1=C$1.06 Canadian) (Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Peter Galloway)