A monthly index that gauges pending sales of U.S. resale homes jumped 7.7 percent year-over-year in August but dipped 1.2 percent compared to July 2011, the National Association of Realtors reported today.Also today, NAR released its latest forecast report for 2011 and 2012, revising down an earlier prediction for U.S. real gross domestic product growth. The association expects U.S. GDP growth of 1 percent in 2011 and 1.3 percent in 2012, compared to a previous forecast, released last month, that anticipated GDP growth of 1.6 percent this year and 2 percent in 2012. Actual U.S. GDP rose 3 percent in 2010, and declined 3.5 percent in 2009. NAR's Pending Home Sales Index, which measures real estate sales contracts signed but not yet closed, typically represents about 20 percent of all existing-home transactions. An index score of 100 is equal to the average level of sales contract activity in 2011, which was the first year examined by the trade group. Regionally, the We...
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