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U.S. Pending Home Sales Rise 1.1% In March

By Kitco News
Wednesday April 29, 2014 10:00 AM

(Kitco News) - The number of consumers who started the process of buying a home increased in March, adding to strong gains seen in February, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Wednesday, the NAR said its pending home sales index rose 1.1% to 108.6 in March, following February’s revised reading of 107.4. The association said the index is 11.1% above the March 2014 reading.According to the assocation this is the third consecutive rise in pending home sales.

"Demand appears to be stronger in several parts of the country, especially in metro areas that have seen solid job gains and firmer economic growth over the past year," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "While contract activity being up convincingly compared to a year ago is certainly good news, the increased number of traditional buyers who appear to be replacing investors paying in cash is even better news1. It indicates this year's activity is being driven by more long-term homeowners."  

Economists were optimistic heading into the report; according to consensus forecasts, economists expected the index to rise about 1.1%. Economists pay attention to pending home sales because it is seen as a barometer for the housing market. There is typically a one-to-two month lag between signing a contract and a completed sale.

The housing market has been mixed; last week the NAR said that sales of existing homes rose 6.1% last month to an annualized rate of 5.19 million units, the highest annual sales pace in 18 months. However, the U.S. Commerce Department said that new home sales fell 11.4% in March.


By Neils Christensen of Kitco News; nchristensen@kitco.com
Follow Neils Christensen @neils_C



Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.
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