A forward-looking indicator based on pending sales of existing homes suggests the market may stabilize in the months ahead, the National Association of Realtors reported today. Although the Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in June, was still 8.6 percent lower than a year ago, it rose 5 percent to 102.4 from the downwardly revised May index of 97.5. This is the largest monthly gain in more than three years, since a 6.1 percent increase in March 2004, according to NAR. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales. Between May and June, the index in the West increased 8.6 percent to 103.6; in the Northeast, it was up 3.1 percent to 96; in the South, it increased 4.7 percent to 111.6; and in the Midwest, the index gained 3.5 percent to 92.5. Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist, said it is encouraging that the increas...
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