Confidence in the US economy is starting to re-emerge after sales of previously owned homes surged in November thanks to tax relief and low borrowing costs.
Used-home sales increased for the third consecutive month, rising by 7.4 per cent to a 6.54 million annual rate from 6.09 million in October, the National Association of Realtors said.
While credit conditions remain difficult and joblessness in the US sits at 10 per cent, a $9112 tax incentive for first-time buyers, low borrowing costs and historically low prices are supporting home purchases.
According to the most recent United States housing report, resales were 44.1 per cent higher in November than the same time last year.
The median price for an existing home last month was $US172,600, down 4.3 per cent from $US180,300 in November 2008. The decline was the smallest since a 4.1 per cent drop in November 2007, a report by Dow Jones found.
Regionally, sales in November compared to October rose 6.6 per cent in the Northeast, 8.4 per cent in the Midwest, 4.8 per cent in the South, and 10.6 per cent in the West.
Of the 6.54 million in overall US resales, 33 per cent were distressed, which includes foreclosures. That compares to a range of 45 per cent to 50 per cent in months during late 2008 and early 2009.