Pending sales of previously owned U.S. homes hit a four-month high in August, a sign the housing market was stabilizing after falling sharply when a home-buyer tax credit expired.
The data offered few fresh clues on whether the Federal Reserve would embark on a new round of monetary policy easing. Financial markets are bracing for the Fed to kick off another round of bond buying as early as next month.
The U.S. central bank’s decision will hinge on inflation and labor market developments.
The National Association of Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in August, increased 4.3 percent from July. Markets had expected the index to rise 3 percent.