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Home sales increase 5 percent

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(Read caption) This chart shows national pending home sales from 2001 to March 2011. The NARs chief economist Lawrence Yun says the market is recovering on its own.

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Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for March showing home sales increasing with the seasonally adjusted national index climbing 5.1% since February while remaining 11.4% below the level seen in March 2010.

Meanwhile, the NARs chief economist Lawrence Yun continues to talk of market recovery while again griping about tight lending standards.

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"Since reaching a cyclical bottom last June, pending home sales have posted an overall gain of 24 percent and demonstrate the market is recovering on its own, ... The index means modest near-term gains in existing-home sales are likely, which would be even stronger if tight mortgage lending criteria returned to normal, safe standards."

Looking at the confluence of truly hideous trends currently playing out for housing it's no wonder the NAR is grasping for any positive number but the writing is on the wall... housing is now within a notable post-government manipulated second dip.

The following chart shows the seasonally adjusted national pending home sales index along with the percent change on a year-over-year basis as well as the percent change from the peak set in 2005 (click for larger version).

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