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Pending home sales jump in February

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         Pending home sales jump in February

Contract signings for home sales boomed in February to the second-highest level in a decade, a trade group said Wednesday.

Pending home sales rose 5.5% in February after falling 2.8% in January, the National Association of Realtors reported. That’s the highest level in close to a year.

A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed.

The NAR said the rising stock market and steady hiring helped, as did fears from home buyers of rising interest rates. Read more on mortgage rates

The warmest February in decades also played a role, the NAR said.

The NAR forecasts a 2.3% rise in existing-home sales and a 4% rise in median home prices for 2017, after a 3.8% rise in existing sales and a 5.1% price rise in 2016.

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