Home sales continued their modest upward swing in May, according to a closely watched industry report that rose for the fourth straight month for the first time in nearly 5 years.
The Pending Home Sales Index, reported Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), rose 0.1% during the month. The index was up 6.7% compared with May 2008. It was the first four-month run up in the pending sales measure since October 2004
Industry prognosticators had forecast no growth at all in the index for the month, according to Briefing.com, expecting it to settle back after ramping up 6.7% in April.
But the rise in sales contracts may not yield a like increase in completed sales, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR.
"Closed existing-home sales have improved but are coming in lower than expected because some contracts are delayed or falling through from the application of new appraisal rules for many transactions," he said.
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