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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of home buyers who agreed to buy a previously occupied home rose the most in nearly eight years in April as the median sales price dropped by about 15 percent, a real estate trade group said Tuesday.

The National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted index of sales contracts signed in April rose 6.7 percent, to 90.3, far exceeding analysts’ forecasts. It was the biggest monthly increase since October 2001, when pending sales rose 9.2 percent.

The increase most likely reflects the impact of a new $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers that was included in the economic stimulus bill signed by President Obama in February.

Since buyers need to complete their purchases by Nov. 30 to claim the credit, “we expect greater activity in the months ahead,” Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said in a statement

Source: The New York Times

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