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US pending home sales rise 0.5 per cent in Dec

[WASHINGTON] Contracts to buy previously owned homes in the United States rose for the third straight month in December, bolstered by a robust job market.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its pending home sales index increased to a reading of 110.1 last month, up 0.5 per cent from November.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast pending home sales rising 0.4 percent last month.

Pending home contracts are seen as a forward-looking indicator of the health of the housing market because they become sales one to two months later.

Pending sales rose 0.5 per cent in December from the same month in 2016. Pending home sales rose 4.0 per cent in the South from a year earlier, while they were up 0.3 per cent in the Midwest. Pending home sales fell 2.7 per cent in the Northeast and 3.1 per cent in the West on a year-on-year basis.


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