Markets & Economy

Pending sales rise for 7th straight month

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Pending home sales rose rose 6.4 percent from July to August, to the highest level in more than two years, the National Association of Realtors said.August marked the seventh straight month of increases in NAR's pending home sales index. But there has likely been some double counting in recent months because some buyers who were under contract but failed to close have signed new contracts to buy, said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist."The rise in pending home sales shows buyers are returning to the market and signing contracts, but deals are not necessarily closing because of long delays related to short sales and issues regarding complex new appraisal rules," Yun said in a statement. "No doubt many first-time buyers are rushing to beat the deadline for the $8,000 (first-time homebuyers) tax credit, which expires at the end of next month."NAR's Pending Home Sales Index rose 6.4 percent to 103.8, up from a reading of 97.6 in July. The index is up 12.4 percent from a...