A for sale sign sits outside of a house in Miami Beach October 22, 2009. (REUTERS / Carlos Barria)

WASHINGTON - Sales of previously owned U.S. homes surged to their highest level in over two years in September, a survey showed on Friday, providing further evidence the housing market and economy were on the mend.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said sales surged 9.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.57 million units, the highest level since July 2007, from a downwardly revised 5.09 million units in August.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected September sales to rise to a 5.35 million unit pace from the previously reported 5.10 million units in August.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)