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NAR: Foreclosure issues disrupting pending home sales

The National Association of Realtors says pending home sales have fallen.

The National Association of Realtors says pending home sales have fallen.

The National Association of Realtors says that the ongoing foreclosure reviews by many nationwide mortgage lenders contributed in the first drop in pending home sales in three months, as the issue has forced many families interested in moving into those properties into a holding pattern.

The group says its Pending Home Sales Index dropped 1.8 percent from August to September to 80.9, a mark which puts sales nearly 25 percent below September of last year, as many foreclosure sales remain paused nationwide.

"Existing-home sales have shown some improvement but the foreclosure moratorium is likely to cause some disruption and contribute to an uneven sales performance in the months ahead," said Lawrence Yun, the NAR's chief economist.

Yun also said that despite the Fed's recent quantitative easing actions, he expected interest rates to slowly increase in the coming months, rising to 4.9 percent next year and 5.8 percent by 2012.

However, so far, interest rates have remained very close to their record lows, allowing increased flexibility for moving families looking to buy a home. The latest weekly survey by Freddie Mac found that the interest rate for an average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage had risen to just 4.24 percent, just slightly higher than the all-time low of 4.19 percent set a few weeks earlier.