2012-04-26 — bloomberg.com
The index of pending home purchases rose 4.1 percent to 101.4, the highest level since April 2010, after a 0.4 percent gain in February that was revised from a previously estimated 0.5 percent drop, the National Association of Realtors reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 43 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 1 percent rise in the measure, which tracks contracts on previously owned homes.
Housing is showing uneven signs of progress. This week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reported a February increase in home prices, up 0.4 percent from a year earlier, the first annual gain since July 2007.
Sales of previously owned houses in March fell for the third time in four months, from a 4.6 million annual rate to 4.48 million, the National Association of Realtors reported earlier this month.
To hold down borrowing costs, Federal Reserve policy makers say they will continue to swap $400 billion in short-term securities with long-term debt to lengthen the average maturity of the central bank's holdings, a move dubbed Operation Twist.
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