WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pending U.S. home sales rose in June for the fifth straight month, another encouraging sign of life for the embattled U.S. housing market, the National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday. For June, the Realtors group said its pending home sales index rose 3.6% to 94.6, from an upwardly revised reading of 91.3 in May, and the index is 6.7% percent above June 2008 when it was 88.7. The last time there were five consecutive monthly gains was July 2003. The results were far better than analysts expected. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the index to come in at 91.2.
“It appears home sales are on a sounder footing and inventory is gradually being absorbed,” said Lawrence Yun, the Realtors group's chief economist.