U.S. pending home sales race to nine-year high in April

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By Lucia Mutikani

Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose for a fourth straight month in April to a nine-year high, buoying the outlook for the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, increased 3.4 percent to 112.4, the highest level since May 2006.

These contracts become sales after a month or two, and last month’s increase pointed to a pick-up in home resales after they lost momentum in April. Economists had forecast pending home sales rising 0.9 percent last month.

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