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US home sales surge as buyers rush to cash in on tax credits

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-10-23

Existing US home sales surged 9.4 percent in September as consumers scrambled to take advantage of expiring tax breaks. Industry figures show sales are at their highest in over two years.

AFP - Existing US home sales surged 9.4 percent in September as consumers scrambled to take advantage of an expiring tax credit for first-time homebuyers, industry figures showed Friday.

The National Association of Realtors said sales of previously owned homes and apartments jumped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million units, well ahead of expectations for a pace of 5.35 million.

The report showed sales at the highest level in over two years for the troubled sector at the epicenter of the global financial crisis.

"Much of the momentum is from people responding to the first-time buyer tax credit, which is freeing many sellers to make a trade and buy another home," said association chief economist Lawrence Yun.

"We are hopeful the tax credit will be extended and possibly expanded to more buyers, at least through the middle of next year, because the rising sales momentum needs to continue for a few additional quarters until we reach a point of a self-sustaining recovery."

Date created : 2009-10-23