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More people signed contracts for homes

More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in February, but sales were uneven across the country and not enough to signal a rebound in the housing market.

Sales agreements for homes rose 2.1 percent last month to a reading of 90.8, according to the National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales index released Monday. Sales rose in every region but the Northeast.

Signings were 19.6 percent above June’s index reading, the low point since the housing bust. Still, the index is below 100, which is considered a healthy level. The last time it reached that point was in April, the final month people could qualify for a home-buying tax credit.

Contract signings are usually a good indicator of where the housing market is heading. That’s because there’s usually a one- to two-month lag between a sales contract and a completed deal.

But the Realtors group also noted “a measurable level of contract cancellations” that occurred in February. Many buyers canceled after appraisals showed the properties were valued much lower than their initial bids.


‘11 Honda minivans recalled for windows

DETROIT | Honda Motor Co Ltd is recalling 2,800 of its Odyssey minivans to repair potentially faulty windows.

There is a potential failure with the driver- and front-passenger-door power windows in the affected 2011 models in which the window may come off the track and become inoperative or drop into the door, according to a U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

The window may shatter into the passenger cabin, so Honda is replacing those windows, NHTSA said. The recall is expected to begin on or before April 15.

No crashes or injuries were reported related to the defect, Honda said.

Earlier this month, Honda recalled more than 33,000 Odyssey minivans for 2011 because of a possible windshield wiper defect.


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