September existing home sales up 5.5 percent - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

September existing home sales up 5.5 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A real estate trade group says sales of existing homes rose by the largest amount in more than five years in September.

  The data is a possible glimmer of hope that the housing slump could be starting to bottom out.

  The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales of existing homes rose by 5.5 percent in September compared to August, the best showing since a 5.6 percent increase in July 2003, during the five-year housing boom.

  Even with the gain in sales, prices kept falling.

  The median sales price has dropped to $191,600, down by 9 percent from a year ago.

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