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The National Association of Realtors says its Pending Home Sales Index rose in March, marking the sixth increase over the past nine months as the housing market continues to recover.
According to the report, the index increased 5.1 percent during the month to a reading of 94.1, up from 89.5 a month ago, signaling a potential increase in home sales in the coming months. While the current reading is well below where the index sat a year ago, 2010 numbers were inflated by the government tax credit.
"Since reaching a cyclical bottom last June, pending home sales have posted an overall gain of 24 percent and demonstrate the market is recovering on its own," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Modest near-term gains in existing-home sales are likely."
Yun added home sales growth would be stronger, but overly tight lending conditions are making it difficult for people to get approved for a loan.
In other recent reports, the NAR has said mortgage lenders could increase sales nationwide, and in the Houston real estate market, by approximately 15 percent if they returned to what it considers the responsible lending standards in place before the housing boom.