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NAR: Pending home sales down during April

Pending home sales declined during April.

Pending home sales declined during April.

The National Association of Realtors' latest information regarding national real estate trends revealed a decline for pending home sales during April.

NAR's Pending Home Sales Index fell to 81.9, which is down 11.6 percent month-over-month and 26.5 percent year-over-year. March's total settled at 92.6, while April 2010's reflected a cyclical peak at 111.5. However, the latter figure was aided by the first-time homebuyer tax credit that the government had issued. During April 2010, sales grew considerably, as many consumers attempted to qualify for the tax break.

While the index is down for April 2011, it only reflects contract signings and not actual closings, which can take between one and two months to complete.

"The pullback in contract signings is disappointing and implies a slower than expected market recovery in upcoming months," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "The economy hit a soft patch in April from sharply rising oil prices, widespread severe weather with the heaviest precipitation in 20 years, and a sudden rise in unemployment claims."

With more jobs becoming available nationwide, home sales could continue to improve. The Los Angeles Times recently revealed that California added 9,000 jobs during April. With more consumers employed and seeking relocation, real estate sales could experience a significant boost.