Bloomberg reports the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says the index of pending sales of previously-owned homes fell 5.5% in April, the highest rate in a year, on the heels of a 3.8 % gain in March 2012. Record low mortgage rates have failed to sustain the pace of demand as tight credit and nagging foreclosures continue to weigh down a full housing recovery. Yelena Shulyatyeva, a U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York, says, “The pattern of demand is sluggish and volatile. Until the supply issue is resolved, we could see further declines in prices and the housing market will continue to hover around the bottom. It’ll be a gradual improvement, we don’t expect anything stronger than that.” Meanwhile, a positive sign, as MHProNews.com reported earlier, is that new home sales rose 3.3 percent in April.
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