Replacement Homes Keep Sales Near Record

Sales of existing homes in the U.S. last month held at the second highest rate on record, in part because of a surge in sales in areas near those devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on October 25.

Collective sales of existing single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.28 million units in September, the same as in August. The record rate of 7.35 million units was set in June of this year.

Data for September show sales spiking in areas surrounding the Hurricane Katrina disaster zone, "with spot checks showing sharply higher home sales to residents who were displaced by the hurricane," says David Lereah, NAR's chief economist. "The sales surge is more than offsetting declines in the disaster zone."

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