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Pending Sales Spike in the West

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Steady-o, daddio-o? So claims the National Association of Realtors. "The number of contracts to buy previously owned homes rose more than forecast in July and increased for a record sixth consecutive month, reinforcing signs that the housing market is steadying," reports Bloomberg, citing NAR's data. More via Inman: "Home sales were up 12.1 percent from June to July in the West and 3.1 percent in the South, and dropped 3 percent in the Northeast and 2 percent in the Midwest regions." NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says he expects the rally to continue at least as long as the first-time homebuyers program goes on. Meanwhile, separate from "West," there should be a category for California, its own disaster of an economic island at this point. [Bloomberg, Inman]