According to the the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home sales rose again in September, affirming that a sales recovery has begun.

Existing home sales, completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 10 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million in September, from a downwardly revised 4.12 million in August. Regionally, existing-home sales in the northeast increased 10.1 percent to an annual pace of 760,000 in September.

Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said the housing market is in the early stages of recovery.

"A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium. But the overall direction should be a gradual rising trend in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and very favorable affordability conditions," he said.

NAR President Vicki Cox Golder said opportunities abound in the current market.

"A decade ago, mortgage rates were almost double what they are today, and they're about one-and-a-half percentage points lower than the peak of the housing boom in 2005," she said. "In addition, home prices are running about 22 percent less than five years ago when they were bid up by the biggest housing rush on record."

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 4.35 percent in September from 4.43 percent in August; the rate was 5.06 percent in September 2009.

Transactions at a glance

In order of worth, these are some of the Westport and Weston homes that changed hands recently.

1. A 3-year-old 6,863-square-foot Colonial on 1.09 acres at 49 Clapboard Hill Road in Westport sold for $4,550,000. This property features five bedrooms, six full and two half baths and a pool.

2. A 49-year-old renovated Colonial on .25 acre at 14 Quentin Road in Westport sold for $2,100,000. This property features three bedrooms and two full baths. It previously sold for $950,000 on Nov. 22, 2002

3. A 151-year-old Victorian on 2.19 acres at 69 Morningside Drive South in Westport sold for $1,700,000. This property features five bedrooms, three full baths and a barn.

4. A 23-year-old Colonial on .36 acre at 10 River Knoll in Westport sold for $1,620,000. This property features five bedrooms, five full baths and a pool. It previously sold for $1,475,000 on July 6, 2004.

5. A 5-year-old Colonial on 2.4 acres at 21 Singing Oaks Drive in Weston sold for $1,163,250. This property features five bedrooms and five full and one half baths. It previously sold for $1,945,000 on March 14, 2006.

6. A 21-year-old Colonial on .07 acre at 17 Old Mill Road in Westport sold for $950,000. This property features six bedrooms and two full baths.

7. A 5-year-old Colonial on .63 acre at 23 Covenant Lane in Weston sold for $770,000. This property features four bedrooms and three full and one half baths.

8. A 60-year-old Cape on 1 acres at 22 Silver Brook Road in Westport sold for $737,000. This property features four bedrooms and three full baths.

9. A 56-year-old split on 1.16 acres at 40 Easton Road in Westport sold for $698,000. This property features four bedrooms, three full baths and a pool.

10. An 80-year-old Cape on 1.09 acres at 140 Newtown Turnpike in Westport sold for $509,000. This property features three bedrooms and two full baths. It previously sold for $235,750 on March 31, 1997.

Sarita Solomon, a licensed sales agent at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 472 Riverside Ave., Westport, can be reached by calling 203-682-0889 or via e-mail at saritasolomon@gmail.com