The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index rose 7.4% to 93.4 in August, higher than the predicted 87 and a contrast to the 1.8% drop expected by economists polled by Reuters. The August reading was 8.8% higher than 2007's and is the highest since June 2007. "August shows some unleashing of pent-up demand before the credit crisis accelerated in September," said Lawrence Yun, the association's senior economist.

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