The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index rose 5.1 percent in March, the sixth increase in the past nine months. The Index is a forward-looking indicator that tracks contract signings but not closings. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said home sales have shown an uneven but notable improvement. Since reaching their bottom last June, pending home sales have risen 24 percent, which demonstrates that the market is recovering on its own. Yun said modest near-term gains in existing-home sales are likely. More here and here.