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Existing home sales hit highest level in 2 years in August

Sales of previously owned homes reached the highest level in more than 2 years, as the housing market showed signs of recovery.

Housing sales 2 year high september 2012Enlarge
Sales of existing homes surged in August according to the National Association of Realtors. (Kevork Djansezian/AFP/Getty Images)

The sales of previously owned homes reached the highest level in more than two years in August, according to the Associated Press.

The National Associated of Realtors said that sales of existing homes rose 7.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million. That is the highest since May 2010, when a federal home-buying tax credit fueled sales, the AP noted.

The NAR also said prices rose for a sixth straight month, showing signs of a continuing housing market recovery, Agence France Presse said. Sales were up 9.3 percent, compared to a year ago, said the NAR.

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"The housing market is steadily recovering with consistent increases in both home sales and median prices. More buyers are taking advantage of excellent housing affordability conditions," said Lawrence Yun, the NAR's chief economist, according to AFP.

NPR noted that builders started work on 2.3 more homes in August than in July, according to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. During 2012, the housing starts have stayed above the 700,000 mark, as compared to 2011, when they only touched that level once in November.

The pace is still far below pre-recession levels, as in 2004 and 2005, housing starts edged above 2 million units, NPR noted.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120919/existing-home-sales-hit-highest-level-2-years-au