Sales of existing homes held at the second-highest pace on record in September, with sales surging in some areas following Hurricane Katrina, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 7.28 million units in September, unchanged from August. Sales were 7.2 percent above the 6.79 million-unit level in September 2004, and were second only to a rate of 7.35 million in June of this year. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said near-record activity was supported by spiking home sales in areas surrounding the Hurricane Katrina disaster zone. "We are now getting some hard data from this region, with spot checks showing sharply higher home sales to residents who were displaced by the hurricane. The sales surge is more than offsetting declines in the disaster zone," he said. Ad hoc checks in markets such as Baton Rouge show existing-ho...
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