(WASHINGTON) -- Hope of a housing recovery was fueled Monday by release of the September existing home sales numbers. The National Association of Realtors reports sales climbed for the second month in a row in September. The 10% increase to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million homes last month is an improvement on the 4.12 million figure from August.
It’s better than expected and some economists believe a housing recovery is building, but the October foreclosure moratorium may put a damper on the next report. In addition, the September numbers remain well below the sales figures from last year, when a tax incentive sent buyers out shopping for homes.
Meantime, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says regulators are reviewing mortgage companies’ actions. Many lenders allegedly used rubber stamp approvals on foreclosure paperwork and in some cases improperly approved foreclosures on paid-up mortgages. Bernanke said “We are looking intensively at the firms' policies, procedures and internal controls related to foreclosures and seeking to determine whether systematic weaknesses are leading to improper foreclosures. We take violations of proper procedures seriously.”
The findings of the review will be released next month.
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