Existing home sales pick up in second quarter

Existing home sales rose 3.8 percent in the second quarter, a report released Wednesday showed, as lower home prices and government tax breaks pushed many would-be home-buyers off the fence and into the real-estate market.

In the three months ending June 30, sales of single-family homes and condominiums across the country rose 3.8 percent to 4.8 million, compared to the first quarter of the year when 4.6 million were sold, according to the report issued by the National Association of Realtors.