Pending home sales down in April

May 27, 2011 at 11:32 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 27 (UPI) -- Pending U.S. home sales declined 11.6 percent in April after two months of gains, the National Association of Realtors said Friday.

The Pending Home Sales Index, measuring contracts that will likely close in June, fell to 81.9 from 94.1, the trade group said.

"The pullback in contract signings is disappointing and implies a slower than expected market recovery in upcoming months. The economy hit a soft patch in April from sharply rising oil prices, widespread severe weather with the heaviest precipitation in 20 years, and a sudden rise in unemployment claims," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a statement.

The trade group said the pending home sales index rose 1.7 percent to 64.5 in April in the Northeast and fell 10.4 percent to 74.1 in the Midwest. In the South, the index slid 17.2 percent to 91.3. In the West, the index dropped 8.9 percent to 89.1.

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