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U.S. pending home sales rise to 1.5 year high

homesforsale

U.S. pending sales of existing homes surged to a 18-month high in November, an industry group said on Thursday, offering more signs of a tentative recovery in the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in November, increased 7.3 percent to 100.1 -- the highest level since April 2010.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected pending sales to rise only 2 percent. Pending sales lead existing home sales by a month or two.

Recent data on home sales and construction have been fairly upbeat, suggesting an improvement in the sector, but prices continue to trend lower.

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