Sales of existing homes rose moderately in March to 5.35 million units annualized as consumers rushed into purchase contracts to take advantage of expiring tax credits for first-time and move-up buyers.

According to figures released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales of one- to four-family homes, including condos and co-ops, rose almost 7% from the previous month, and 16% from the same month a year ago.

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