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Originally published Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 11:38 AM

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Summary Box: Pending Home Sales

SALES JUMP: The number of buyers who signed contracts to purchase homes rose 5.3 percent in March. That beat analysts' expectations for a 4 percent increase.

The Associated Press

SALES JUMP: The number of buyers who signed contracts to purchase homes rose 5.3 percent in March. That beat analysts' expectations for a 4 percent increase.

UNCLE SAM'S BOOST: The federal government provided a big boost to home sales this spring. First-time buyers were eligible for tax credit of up to $8,000. There was also a credit of up to $6,500 for homeowners who buy and move.

UNCERTAIN FUTURE: The tax credits expired April 30. Real estate agents are hoping that the economy will be strong enough in the second half of the year to keep sales from falling dramatically.

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