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U.S. pending home sales rebound more than expected in September

Staff Writer |
Pending home sales in the U.S. saw a significant rebound in the month of September, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors.

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NAR said its pending home sales index jumped by 1.5 percent to 110.0 in September after tumbling by 2.5 percent to a revised 108.4 in August. Economists had expected pending sales to climb by 1.0 percent.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said, "Buyer demand is holding up impressively well this fall with Realtors reporting much stronger foot traffic compared to a year ago."

"Although depressed inventory levels are keeping home prices elevated in most of the country, steady job gains and growing evidence that wages are finally starting to tick up are encouraging more households to consider buying a home," he added.

The bigger than expected rebound in pending home sales reflected a 4.7 percent jump in the West as well as a 1.9 percent increase in the South.

On the other hand, the report said pending home sales in the Northeast fell by 1.6 percent. Pending sales in the Midwest also edged down by 0.2 percent.

NAR released a separate report last week showing that existing home sales rebounded by much more than anticipated in the month of September.

The report said existing home sales jumped by 3.2 percent to an annual rate of 5.47 million in September after falling by 1.5 percent to a downwardly revised rate of 5.30 million in August.

Economists had expected existing home sales to inch up by 0.4 percent to a rate of 5.35 million from the 5.33 million originally reported for the previous month.

With the monthly rebound, existing home sales are at their highest pace since June and are up by 0.6 percent compared to the same month a year ago.