Pending home sales increased to a reading of 89.0 in June from a downwardly revised 84.5 in May, according to an index released yesterday by the National Association of Realtors.

IFR Markets’ poll of economists had predicted an 84.3 reading. The May reading was initially reported as 84.7. But year-over-year the pending homes sales index was down 12.3% in June.

Regionally, pending sales rose 9.3% in the South, the West saw a 4.6% increase, while the Northeast saw pending sales rise 3.4%, and sales climbed 1.3% in the Midwest.

“The vacillation of data from one month to the next indicates a housing market in transition,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “The rise in pending home sales was broad-based with all four regions showing gains. This is welcome news because a rise in contract activity is necessary for an overall housing recovery. With a tax credit now available to first-time home buyers, increases in home sales could be sustained with the momentum carrying into 2009.”

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