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U.S. pending home sales see 1st 7-month high in December

US pre-owned home purchases increased for the first time in seven months in December as mortgage rates eased, in another sign that the housing market was beginning to stabilize.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said this Friday (27) that its Pending Home Sales Index, based on signed contracts, rose 2.5% to 76.9 last month.

That was the first increase in pending home sales since May. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that contracts, which became sales after a month or two, would fall 0.9%.

Pending home sales were down 33.8% in December year-over-year.

“This recent low point in home sales activity is likely over,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, said in a statement.

The fastest cycle of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve since the 1980s sent the housing sector into recession. The fall in mortgage rates, however, has raised expectations that the housing market could soon stabilize, albeit at depressed levels.

The rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to an average of 6.13% this week, the lowest level since mid-September, according to data from mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac.

Source: CNN Brasil

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