Steady US housing recovery is boosting economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — From purchases and prices to builder sentiment and construction, the U.S. housing market is making consistent gains.

The latest evidence came in reports Monday that sales of previously occupied homes rose solidly in October and that builders are more confident than at any other time in 61⁄2 years.

New-home sales and home-price indexes have reached multi-year highs.

And Lowe’s Cos. on Monday reported a surge in net income, a sign that home-improvement retailers are benefiting.

The housing market’s recovery still has a long way to go. But for now, it’s helping prop up an economy that’s being squeezed by a global slowdown and looming spending cuts and tax increases.

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