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UPDATE:Pending home sales fell 0.5 per cent in February but remained near a two-year high, new data from the National Association of Realtors shows.
The key index showed a slight decline from January’s revised reading of 97.0. February’s results are 9.2 per cent above year-ago levels.
Economists had largely expected sales would advance 1.0 per cent during the month, following the 2.0 per cent gain in January.
“The spring home buying season looks bright because of an elevated level of contract offers so far this year,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. “If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years. Based on all of the factors in the current market, that’s what we’re expecting with sales rising 7 to 10 per cent in 2012.”
The index measuring sales in the South showed the greatest deterioration, declining 3.0 per cent to 105.8. However, that index was also the highest of the four regional subs.
The Midwest was the only area to report gains during the month.
The first major data point of the day is minutes away: Pending Home Sales.
Economists polled by Bloomberg expect sales advanced 1.0 per cent in February, following a 2.0 per cent gain in January. If that holds, it would represent a 9.7 per cent increase compared to year-ago levels.
The National Association of Realtors will release February results at 10:00 a.m. EST. Follow the announcement live on Money Game.