Home contract signings up, in line with expectations, NAR says

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The number of contracts signed to purchase existing homes nationwide jumped 6.1 percent in September over the previous month, according to a report released today by the National Association of Realtors. The data in the report, gathered as part of the group’s Pending Home Sales Index, also showed positive movement in the housing market in August — that month saw a 6.4 percent uptick over a month earlier. Home prices, however, fell 1.2 percent month-over-month as of Aug. 31, the most recent data available. The dip is in line with seasonal patterns, according to NAR, which said that spring and summer generally see higher home prices. Quinn Eddins, director of research at Radar Logic, said that while this is a tenuous time in the market, the current buying and pricing data is on par with expectations. “Given the reduction in housing values to 2003-2004 levels, the activity seems rational,” Eddins said in the report. “The next several weeks’ data are critical in determining the strength of the housing market for 2010.” TRD

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