Pending Home Sales Enjoy Surprise Rise
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A pending home sales index was unexpectedly robust last month, climbing 3.1% to 106.9. That uptick raced past economists' prediction of a 0.5% improvement. The National Association of Realtors index has increased in three of the past four months and is now 12% above year-ago levels. A healthy job market, consistently low mortgage rates around 4% and, as Bloomberg noted last week, an increasingly expensive rental market all contributed to the gains. The NAR also reported that last month new home sales accounted for 7.8% of the total market, their highest share sin seven years. [WSJ]