Sales of previously occupied US homes took the largest monthly drop in more than 40 years last month, sinking more dramatically than expected after lawmakers gave buyers additional time to use a tax credit.

The report reflects a sharp drop in demand after buyers stopped scrambling to qualify for a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time homeowners. It had been due to expire on 30 November.

But Congress extended the deadline until 30 April and expanded it with a new $6,500 credit for existing homeowners who move.

South China Morning Post, Wall Street Journal