A gauge of pending home sales increased in April for the fourth consecutive month to reach the highest level in nine years, signaling that upcoming deals could pick up, a trade group said Thursday. The index from the National Association of Realtors reached a seasonally adjusted 112.4 in April, up 3.4% from 108.7 in March and 14% from a year earlier. "Realtors are saying foot traffic remains elevated this spring despite limited - and in some cases severe - inventory shortages in many metro areas," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected April growth of 1%. Pending sales typically close within two months. An index reading of 100 equals the average contract activity level in 2001.
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