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New home sales up 5.7 percent in September

New home sales in the United States went up 5.7 percent in September.

New home sales in the United States went up 5.7 percent in September.

The number of Americans who packed up moving boxes and were handed keys to new homes appears to have increased last month, as sales of newly built single family homes were up 5.7 percent in September, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

"Today's report highlights the gradual improvement in housing market conditions that is becoming evident in certain pockets of the country, as consumers who can surmount very restrictive lending standards to qualify for a favorable mortgage rate seize on this opportunity to buy," said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.

Nielsen went on to say that first-time home buyers are driving the real estate market, which is evident by the lower-priced, entry level homes that have recently come under contract.

More than 313,000 units were accounted for in the statistics, which marks the fastest pace of new home sales in the past five months.

New homeowners are highly dependent on federal policies and programs such as low down payment options and mortgage interest deductions that makes owning a home more affordable, according to Nielsen.

Higher sales of real estate are a welcome sign for the market, which was also shown to be improving in a recent National Association of Realtors' report. According to the NAR, September home sales were up 11.3 percent from the same time in 2010.