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Pending home sales sink in November

NAR expects another tax credit-fueled sales surge

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Pending home sales fell in November, following a surge at the time of the federal homebuyer tax credit's original deadline, but were still up year-over-year, the National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday. The Pending Home Sales Index dropped 16 percent to 96 from an upwardly revised 114.3 in October, but is 15.5 percent higher than November 2008, when it was 83.1, according to NAR. The index is based on a large national sample of home sales in which a contract has been signed but the transaction has not yet closed.Sales are usually finalized within one or two months of signing and the index is therefore a good indicator of sales performance, NAR said. An index of 100 is equal to average contract activity in 2001, the index's first year. The decline was expected, NAR said. "It will be at least early spring before we see notable gains in sales activity as homebuyers respond to the recently extended and expanded tax credit," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economis...