Pending Home Sales Surge Continues

Pending home sales have risen for three consecutive months, reflecting the broad impact of the home buyer tax credit and favorable housing affordability conditions, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 6.0% to 110.9 based on contracts signed in April, from an upwardly revised 104.6 in March, and is 22.4% higher than April 2009 when it was 90.6. That follows gains of 7.1% in March and 8.3% in February. Pending home sales are at the highest level since last October when the index reached 112.4 and first-time buyers were rushing to beat the initial deadline for the tax credit. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months.

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