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Pending real estate sales dip in January

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Pending sales of existing homes dipped for the second straight month in January, according to a National Association of Realtors index. The Pending Home Sales Index, based on purchase contracts signed but not yet closed, is considered to be a leading indicator for future sales. An index score of 100 is the average level of contract activity in 2001, the first year that index data was collected. The index fell 2.8 percent month-to-month and 1.5 percent year-over-year in January, to 88.9. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said in a statement, "We should not expect the recovery to be in a straight upward path -- it will zig-zag at times."The South was the only region to see a month-to-month index increase in January, up 1.4 percent to an index score of 97.7. The South also experienced the smallest year-over-year decline, -0.4 percent. The index fell the most in the Midwest, dropping 7.3 percent month-to-month and 3.2 percent year-over-year, to 78. In the Northeast, the ...