Home sales surge in third quarter, price decline slows


Sales of existing homes continue to improve, increasing 11.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.30 million units in the third quarter, compared to 4.76 million units in the second quarter. Existing home sales, which include condos and single-family homes, are now 5.9% above the 5.01 million-unit pace in the third quarter of 2008, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Sales increases were seen in 45 states and the District of Columbia, with 28 states experiencing double-digit gains. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a press release, "We can't underestimate just how powerful a catalyst the first-time home buyer tax credit has been for the housing sector. It has given buyers the confidence they needed to get off the fence and take advantage of extremely affordable housing conditions. The buying conditions this year are the most favorable on record dating back to 1970, but the tax credit is allowing buyers to set aside any reservations about waiting for a better deal."

Originally published