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New US home sales hit 2-year high

New US home sales rose 5.7 percent in September and are up 27.1 percent in the past year.

New home sales 2012 10-24Enlarge
New home sales rose 5.7 percent in September to reach their highest levels in more than two years. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

US home sales are at their highest level in more than two years, new figures from the Commerce Department show.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new home sales rose 5.7 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted 389,000.

More from GlobalPost: Existing home sales hit highest level in 2 years in August

That's up from 368,000 in August and the highest level since April 2010, when a federal homebuyer tax credit inflated sales, according to The Associated Press.

New home sales are up 27.1 percent in the past year, although they're still well below what's considered "healthy levels."

The housing market has been struggling to recover since a collapse in 2006 and resulting recession.

More from GlobalPost: US home prices rise for sixth straight month

But home sales are increasing, giving confidence to new builders and homebuyers, and record-low mortgage rates held down by the Federal Reserve are spurring recovery in the sector, according to Reuters.

Sales last month jumped in three of the four regions. They tumbled 37.3 percent in the Midwest.

In a separate measure, US home prices rose for the seventh straight month in August, up 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from a month earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/121024/new-us-home-sales-hit-2-year-high