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UPDATE:The index measuring pending home sales increased 2 per cent in January, topping expectations and pushing the sales index to the highest level since April 2010, data from the National Association of Realtors shows.
Economists were looking for a 1.0 per cent gain, which would have been 10.7 per cent above last year’s sales rate.
“Given more favourable housing market conditions, the trend in contract activity implies we are on track for a more meaningful sales gain this year,” Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist, said. “With a sustained downtrend in unsold inventory, this would bring about a broad price stabilisation or even modest national price growth, of course with local variations.”
December data was revised to a 1.9 per cent decline, from an earlier reported 3.5 per cent fall.
The first of two important U.S. economic announcements is about to hit the Street: Pending Home Sales
Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast a 1.0 per cent increase in January, reversing a 3.5 per cent decline in December.
However the range for January results falls from -3.5 per cent to a 3.0 per cent gain.
“Contract failures remain an issue, reported by one-third of Realtors over the past few months, but home buyers are not giving up,” National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun said at the time of the December release.