Pending home sales inch up in May

Four months of gains not seen since 2004

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An index tracking pending sales of existing homes inched up a barely perceptible 0.1 percent from April to May, but it marked the first time the index has posted four consecutive monthly gains since October, 2004, the National Association of Realtors said.

At 90.7, the Pending Home Sales Index was up 6.7 percent from a year ago. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, the year NAR launched the index and the first of five consecutive record years of existing-home sales.