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Pending home sales rise yet again

Pending home sales rise for fifth time in six months.

Pending home sales rise for fifth time in six months.

The ink isn't quite dry yet, but it appears as though more people are at the very least in the process of moving into a new home.

According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales - a real estate index that keeps track of housing contracts signed but not completed - increased in December, making it the fifth time in the past six months the rate's increased.

Pending home sales increased in the Northeast, Midwest and South, the biggest jump coming in the South, where sales rose 11 percent compared to November. This gibes with the Commerce Department report of the increasing trend of new homes being sold in the South.

However, pending sales don't necessarily reflect new home sales, because NAR reports pending sales declined in the West by 13 percent, while the Commerce Department says new home sales in the West increased.

"Modest gains in the labor market and the improving economy are creating a more favorable backdrop for buyers, allowing them to take advantage of excellent housing affordability conditions," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR.