26 Jan 2010

US house sales down

5:38 pm on 26 January 2010

The US National Association of Realtors says sales of previously-owned homes fell 17% in December.

Sales rose from September to November as first-time buyers took advantage of tax credits.

A decline in December was expected as buyers rushed to complete deals before the original deadline at the end of November.

The first-time buyer tax credit has since been extended until April, and the Aassociation says there's likely to be another surge in sales.

December sales fell to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million from 6.54 million in November, but are 15% higher than the level seen in December 2008.