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News Summary: Pending US home sales at 3-year high

The Associated Press

PENDING SALES RISE: The National Association of Realtors' index of Americans of who signed contracts to buy homes rose 1.5 percent in March to 105.7. That's the highest level in three years and 7 percent above year-ago levels.

MORE COMPLETE SALES AHEAD: The increase suggests completed sales will rise spring. There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

FEWER HOMES ON MARKET: Completed sales have slowed in recent months, largely because the number of available homes for sale has fallen 17 percent in the past year. Rising demand and limited supply is pushing up home construction.