US house sales surge in September as prices fall

HOUSE sales in the US soared 10 per cent in September as buyers capitalised on low prices and a rising number of foreclosures, figures released yesterday showed.

Sales jumped by 4.53m from August to September the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said.

Despite the recover, sales remained almost 20 per cent lower than a year earlier.

Sales of distressed homes – those that have been foreclosed on – remained relatively high at 35 per cent, up one per cent from August and six per cent on a year ago.

The proportion of distressed homes on the market led the average property price to fall 1.9 per cent on the previous year to $172,000 (£109,213).

“A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

He added the overall trend should be a gradual rise in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and favourable credit conditions.