WASHINGTON - U.S. sales of previously occupied homes jumped in August to the highest level in more than two years, adding momentum to the housing recovery.
The National Association of Realtors says sales rose 7.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million. That's the most since May 2010, when sales were fueled by a federal home-buying tax credit.
The figures were reported the same day the government said U.S. homebuilders broke ground on more new homes in August compared to July.
Still, the recovery is from a depressed level. Sales of previously occupied homes remain below the more than 5.5 million that economists consider consistent with a healthy market. And the number of first-time homebuyers, who are critical to a housing rebound, slipped to 31 percent from 34 percent.