National

May 24, 2010 11:08 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Sales of previously owned homes up 7.6 percent

Home sales surpassed expectations for April as government incentives provided a temporary boost to the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors says sales of previously owned homes rose 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million. That was the best showing in five months and better than the 5.63 million units economists had expected.

The federal government provided a big boost to home sales this spring by offering first-time buyers a tax credit of up to $8,000. Homeowners looking to upgrade could qualify for a credit of up to $6,500. The deadline for getting a signed sales contract was April 30.

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