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US pending home sales rise 0.5% in September
[WASHINGTON] Contracts to buy previously owned homes unexpectedly rose in September, a bright mark in the United States' struggling housing market although contracts on an annual basis have fallen for nine consecutive months.
The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, rose 0.5 per cent to a reading of 104.6. The previous month's reading was revised slightly lower.
Economists had forecast pending home sales falling 0.1 per cent in September.
Contracts were 1.0 per cent lower than in September 2017.
Pending home contracts become sales after a month or two and are therefore seen as a good indicator of future existing home sales.
In September, contracts rose 4.5 per cent in the West and 1.2 per cent in the Midwest. They were down 1.4 per cent in the South and 0.4 per cent in the Northeast.