National

Apr 22, 2010 10:19 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Home sales surge 6.8 percent in March

Home sales rose more than expected in March, reversing three months of declines, as government incentives drew in buyers and kicked off what's expected to be a strong spring selling season.

The National Association of Realtors says sales of previously occupied homes rose 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million last month, the highest level since December. February's sales figures were revised downward slightly to 5.01 million.

Sales had been expected to rise about 5.2 percent to 5.28 million, according to economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters. The results show the housing market may be stabilizing after a devastating bust.

But the true test will be whether the market can stand on its own after federal tax credits expire at the end of this month.

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