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Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes climbed in March by the largest percentage in almost three years, according to a report released today from the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 3.4 percent, the most since May 2011.

 

Three of four U.S. regions showed an increase from February, with contract signings up 5.7 percent in the West, 5.6 percent in the South and 1.4 percent in the Northeast. Pending sales dropped 0.8 percent in the Midwest.

 

“Sales activity is expected to steadily pick up as more inventory reaches the market, and from ongoing job creation in the economy,” according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

 

During the first quarter, sales at the Ebby Halliday Companies continued to outperform the market with a 9.6 percent increase over the same period in 2013.

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