USA-ECONOMY/

Pending Home Sales Leap to Highest Level in 19 Months

Politics Reuters

Pending sales of existing U.S. homes surged to a 1-1/2 year high in November, an industry group said on Thursday, offering more signs of a tentative recovery in the housing market.

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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. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

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