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Pending home sales surge in West

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Pending home sales rose 3.2 percent from June to July, with a surge in sales in the western U.S. outweighing declines in the Northeast and Midwest, the National Association of Realtors said today. It was the sixth consecutive monthly increase in pending home sales, a trend that NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects to continue before falling off in the first quarter of 2010 if a tax credit for first-time homebuyers is allowed to expire Nov. 30.NAR's pending home sales index increased 3.2 percent from June to July and was up 12 percent from a year ago, NAR said. The index, based on contracts signed but not closed, is at the highest level since June 2007.Pending home sales were up 12.1 percent from June to July in the West and 3.1 percent in the South, but fell 3 percent in the Northeast and 2 percent in the Midwest regions. All four regions saw a year-over-year increase in pending home sales, led by the West (20 percent) and followed by the South (12 percent), Midwest (8.1 percent) ...