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Home Sales Jump More Than 4 Percent In January

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Home sales rose in January to the highest pace in nearly two years, flashing signs of health ahead of the spring-buying season.

The National Association of Realtors says home sales increased 4.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million. That’s the highest level since May 2010.

Sales have risen in three of the past four months. But they remain well below the 6 million that economists equate with a healthy market.

First-time buyers, who are critical to a recovery, are increased slightly to 33 percent of sales. In healthy markets, first-time buyers make up at least 40 percent.

Homes at risk of foreclosure made up 35 percent of sales last month, up from 32 percent in December.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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