US home buyers took full advantage of the soon-to-expire $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers helping to push sales of existing homes 9.4 percent for the fifth gain in six months. Additionally, home prices remain muted and the number of foreclosures remains very high with so-called “distress sales” accounting for nearly 30 percent of all sales in September.
“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,” Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist, said in a news release. “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.”
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