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US pending home sales higher in September
[WASHINGTON] US pending home sales edged higher in September after a decline in August, helped by slowing price gains and growing inventory, the National Association of Realtors said on Monday.
But the association said tight credit from mortgage lenders continues to hamper activity in the market.
The NAR pending home sales index rose to 105.0 last month from 104.7 in August, putting it 1.0 per cent higher than a year ago.
The index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, showed gains in the Northeast and South regions, but was lower in the Midwest and West.
"Housing supply for existing homes was up in September six percent from a year ago, which is preventing prices from rising at the accelerated clip seen earlier this year," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
"Additionally, the current spectacularly low mortgage rates should help more buyers reach the market." The NAR singled out the problem of tight lending standards as holding back home buyers, and expressed hope that regulators would soon modify rules that will broaden access to mortgages.