Sales of U.S. existing homes rose in September by the most on record, a sign cheaper borrowing costs are helping stabilize an industry that’s battling the headwinds of foreclosures and joblessness.
Purchases increased 10 percent to a 4.53 million annual rate from 4.12 million in August, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Economists forecast sales would rise to a 4.3 million pace, according to the median projection in a Bloomberg News survey. The median price fell 2.4 percent from a year earlier.
The lowest mortgage rates on record and cheaper homes are enticing some buyers and providing a backstop for the industry that precipitated the worst recession since the 1930s. At the same time, the housing recovery will be slowed by unemployment forecast to exceed 9 percent through 2011 and foreclosures that add to the inventory of unsold homes.