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Bernanke Says Housing Market Is Recovering After Hitting Bottom

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the U.S. housing market is on the road to recovery.

“The evidence thus far is that the housing market has hit the bottom,” Bernanke said in Washington today in response to questions from members of the House Financial Services Committee. “It’s recovering. We’ve seen rising prices in the last year or so. We’ve seen significant increases in starts and sales.”

Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes climbed more than forecast in January, a sign the industry will keep strengthening this year, a report today showed.

The index of pending home resales increased 4.5 percent to 105.9, the highest level since April 2010, after a revised 1.9 percent drop the prior month, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 1.9 percent advance.

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