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Pending sales index points to declines ahead

Bad news today for the housing market. The Pending Homes Sales Index of the National Association of Realtors, which is based on contracts signed in February, fell 1.9% to 84.6. That was its lowest reading since the series began in 1999. It was down from an upwardly revised reading of 86.2 in January. It was also down 21.4% from the same period a year earlier.

Lawrence Yun, the Realtors’ upbeat chief economist, gave the figures a positive interpretation, saying in a press release:

“The slip in pending home sales implies we’re not out of the woods yet, though an era of successive deep sales declines appears to be over.”

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