Existing-Home Sales Jump To Highest Level in 2-1/2 Years

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose in October at a faster-than-expected pace to the highest in more than 2-1/2 years as buyers rushed to take advantage of a popular tax credit, a survey showed Monday.

The National Association of Realtors said sales surged a record 10.1 percent to an annual rate of 6.10 million units, the highest since February 2007, from a downwardly revised 5.54 million unit pace in September.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected October sales to jump to a 5.70 million unit pace from the previously reported 5.57 million units in September. Compared to October last year, home sales were up by a record 23.5 percent.