The US housing market gave another sign yesterday that the free fall could be ending. Figures indicated that pending home sales rose for a third month running in April as record low mortgage rates lured buyers back to the market.

Pending home sales – deals that have been signed but not completed – leapt 6.7% from March, the biggest monthly gain since 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors. Economists had expected a rise of just 0.5%.

Sales jumped the most in the north-east, up 32.6% between March and April. Pending home sales rose 9.8% and 1.8% in the Midwest and west, respectively. In the south, sales were off 0.2% in the month but still up 3.5%, compared with April 2008.

Financial Times