September home sales up 9%

First-timers account for 45% of sales in last year

Demand from first-time homebuyers helped drive a 9.4 percent increase in sales of existing homes from August to September, the National Association of Realtors said today, continuing a trend of increasing sales in five out of the last six months.

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million, sales of existing single-family, townhome, condominium and co-op properties in September were also up 9.2 percent from a year ago.