Existing USA home sales increased by 7% in March compared to February, and were up 16% over the corresponding month last year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The increase in USA property sales, the first rise since December 2009, was fuelled by various government incentives aimed at attracting more buyers, and kicked off what some experts believe will be a strong spring season for the USA housing market.
Housing analysts are attributing the increase in activity to the fact that more people are taking advantage of the homebuyer tax credit which is soon due to expire, with 44% of the sales being attributed to first-time buyers.
“The home buyer tax credit has been a resounding success as these underlying trends point to a broad stabilisation in home prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. “This is preserving perhaps $1,000bn in largely middle class housing wealth that may have been wiped out without the housing stimulus measure.”
The greatest jump in home sales in March was recorded in Florida, up 24% compared to the same time last year.
The average price of a home in USA remained stable, improving by just 0.4% from a year ago to $170,700 (£111,500), according to the NAR report. Around 35% of all USA property sales were distressed homes.