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NAR: Pending home sales rise in December

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pending home sales saw a 1 percent increase in the last month of 2009.
Pending home sales saw a 1 percent increase in the last month of 2009.

Those who use construction equipment to build homes may find some solace in the fact that pending home sales increased slightly in December.

The Pending Home Sale Index from the national Association of Realtors increased from 95.6 to 96.6 percent from November to December. Furthermore, levels seen in the last month of 2009 are up when compared to December of 2008. Pending home sales were up 10.9 percent when compared to the prior month.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the organization, said that the overarching trend for pending home sales is one of improvement, though the first-time homebuyer's tax credit may be altering numbers.

"There are easily understood swings in contract activity as buyers respond to a tax credit that was expiring and was then extended and expanded," Yun said.

The tax credit was supposed to end in November, though it was extended to the end of April. It was also increased to include people who may not be buying their first home, but are still purchasing a new primary residence. Those buyers are eligible for a credit of $6,500.

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