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Sat, June 15

Existing home sales surge nationally

The National Association of Realtors on Monday reported that existing home sales showed big gains in October with people taking advantage of the first-time buyer tax credit as a big reason for the increase.

Single-family town homes, condos and co-op sales rose 10.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.10 million units in October from a downwardly revised pace of 5.54 million in September, according to a press release.

The west region saw a 25.3 percent spike in existing homes sales for homes up to $100,000 and a 22.3 percent hike in homes with prices in the $100,000 to $250,000 range, according to the association. The October data shows sales for homes in the $250,000 to $500,000 fell 4.5 percent, but the $500,000 to $750,000 price range rose 3.5 percent.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the association, was surprised with the size of the gain and attributes it to people looking to take advantage of the tax credit before it was originally set to expire in November.

Prospective homebuyers now have until the end of April to take advantage.

Yun also said interest rates are favorable.

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