Existing-home sales reversed the downward trend recorded in August due to stock market declines, and rose 4 point 7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5 point 55 million in September, the highest pace since February 2007. The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that September's rebound in existing–home sales marks a year–over–year increase for 12 consecutive months and all four major regions experienced gains. The biggest shock that the NAR reported was that the first-time buyer share declined from their highest share of the year at 32 percent in August to 29 percent in September, the same total recorded a year ago. The House Financial Services Committee examined housing policy, the future of housing, and HUD's progress in its 50th year of operation at a hearing Thursday. The Committee ultimately determined despite its decades of experience and 1 point 655 trillion dollars in cumulative annual appropriations, the Committee found that the department has not fully addressed poverty issues and has failed to meet its original goal to not only to relieve the symptom of poverty but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.