Pending-Home-Sales Surge Surprises Economists

After a gloomy month of frightening housing numbers, a ray of sunshine cut through the clouds. The Pending Home Sales Index for contracts signed in July rose 5.2 percent from June, according to the National Association of Realtors. While this is a 19.1 percent fall from last July's home sales numbers, economists had predicted a drop of 1 percent for this July. The new increase indicates that the housing decline following the end of the homebuyer tax credit incentives was nearing its end. It is hoped historically low mortgage interest rates and affordable housing prices will help the ailing housing market recover in the coming months.

In other good news, 17 major markets saw price increases in the latest monthly report. Find out how your market measures up.

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