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Pending home sales rise in March

Contract signings for homes increased in the month of March.

Contract signings for homes increased in the month of March.

Despite misgivings people may have about the health of the real estate industry due to recent negative reports, they aren't preventing people from moving.

According to a report from the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales rose in the month of March by 5.1 percent compared to February. Year-over-year, however, pending sales - which represent contract signings - are down 11.2 percent.

Overall, the housing statistic is trending upwards, though, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

"Since reaching a cyclical bottom last June, pending home sales have posted an overall gain of 24 percent and demonstrate the market is recovering on its own," Yun said. "The index means modest near-term gains in existing-home sales are likely, which would be even stronger if tight mortgage lending criteria returned to normal, safe standards."

Even though some people are still able to receive mortgages despite tougher lending standards, financing a new home will soon become even more difficult. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will reduce the loan amounts given out to people who qualify for government-backed mortgages.