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Post-tax-credit blues for pending real estate sales

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Fewer homebuyers signed purchase contracts for resale homes in May, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors. The association expected May's drop in its Pending Home Sales Index following the April 30 contract deadline for the federal homebuyer tax credits. The deadline for eligible sales under contract by April 30 to close will be extended to Sept. 30 from its original deadline of June 30 if the president signs off on a bill passed by Congress on Wednesday. The index decline follows three straight months of increases. "Consumers are rational and they rushed to meet the tax credit eligibility deadline in April. The sharp decline in contract signings in May is a natural result with similar low levels of sales activity anticipated in June," said Lawrence Yun, the association's chief economist, in a statement. The association's pending sales index fell 30 percent month-to-month and 15.9 percent year-over-year in May, to 77.6. An index of 100 indicates th...