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Ahead of the Bell: Pending Home Sales

An index that tracks signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes is expected to remain unchanged in September after rising for seven straight months, indicating that housing demand remains strong.
/ Source: The Associated Press

An index that tracks signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes is expected to remain unchanged in September after rising for seven straight months, indicating that housing demand remains strong.

The National Association of Realtors' index of pending home resales is expected to come in at 103.8, according to economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters. That's unchanged from August, which was the best month for the index since March 2007.

The report is scheduled to be released Monday at 10 a.m. EST.

The index tracks signed contracts to purchase previously occupied homes and is considered a barometer for future home sales. Typically there is a one- to two- month lag between a sales contract and a completed deal.

The U.S. housing market has been rebounding from the worst downturn in decades. Home resales rose in September to the highest level in more than two years as buyers scrambled to complete their purchases before a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time owners expires on Nov. 30.

Congress, meanwhile is moving to extend the credit to buyers who sign sales agreements by April 30. Lawmakers also want to add a $6,500 credit for buyers moving into other homes as long as they have been in their current residence at least five years.