U.S. pending home sales up again in March

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U.S. pending home sales rose 5.3 percent in March, according to the National Association of Realtors, in a continued upswing the trade group attributed in large part to the homebuyer tax credit, which expired last Friday. February also saw an 8.3 percent month-over-month increase nationwide. The pending home sales index, which measures contracts signed, came in at 102.9 for the month, a 21.1 percent increase over the 85.0 reading for March 2009. “In the months immediately following the expiration of the tax credit, we expect measurably lower sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Later in the second half of the year, and into 2011, home sales will likely become self-sustaining if the economy can add jobs at a respectable pace, and from a return of buyer demand as they see home values stabilizing.” TRD

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