US pending home sales gain in March: NAR
Pending home sales rose in March after a February slump, showing strength persists in the US housing comeback, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.
The NAR's index for pending sales, which signal the direction of the housing market, rose 1.5 percent from February to 105.7.
That was 7.0 percent above the March 2012 level, with activity strongest in the south and the west.
NAR economist Lawrence Yun said tight supply on the market continued to hold back sales.
"Contract activity has been in a narrow range in recent months, not from a pause in demand but because of limited supply," Yun said in a statement.
"Little movement is expected in near-term sales closings, but they should edge up modestly as the year progresses," he said.
NAR projects that sales of existing homes will grow 6.5-7.0 percent this year to around five million units, with prices gaining 7.5 percent.