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Pending home sales jump 3.1% in February, Realtors say

Pending home sales jump 3.1% in February, Realtors say
U.S. home prices are slightly above the peak set in July 2006, according to the Case-Shiller national home price index. (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)

Pending home sales rose more than expected in February, a trade group said, a sign the housing market may be in for a spring rebound.

Signed contracts for previously owned homes climbed 3.1% from January to the highest level since June 2013, the National Assn. of Realtors reported Monday.

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The February increase is a positive sign ahead of the typically busy spring selling season. Pending sales reflect signed contracts, and they usually become final within one or two months.

Prospective buyers are being lured into the market by an improved job market and low mortgage rates, said Lawrence Yun, the Realtors' chief economist.

"These factors bode well for the prospect of an uptick in sales in coming months," he said.

Pending deals fell in the Northeast and the South, but climbed 11.6% in the Midwest and 6.6% in the West.

Follow me on Twitter: @khouriandrew

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