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UK housing market gathers pace in March: RICS

LONDON (Reuters) - British house prices unexpectedly picked up speed in March and sales reached a six-year high, a survey showed on Thursday, suggesting the market is still firmly on the rise, after recent releases indicated a slight loss in momentum. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS)seasonally adjusted house price balance rose last month to +57 from an upwardly revised +47 in February.

UK housing market gathers pace in March: RICS

LONDON (Reuters) - British house prices unexpectedly picked up speed in March and sales reached a six-year high, a survey showed on Thursday, suggesting the market is still firmly on the rise, after recent releases indicated a slight loss in momentum. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS)seasonally adjusted house price balance rose last month to +57 from an upwardly revised +47 in February.

Signed contracts to buy US homes down for 8 straight months; home sales slower than in 2013

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell for the eighth straight month in February, a sign that real estate sales will likely slow over the next few months. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index dropped 0.8 per cent to 93.9. The index has fallen 10.5 per cent over the past 12 months. Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases: A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a signed contract and a completed sale.

US new-home sales drop 3.3 per cent in February; cold weather continues to limit buying

WASHINGTON - Fewer people bought new U.S. homes in February. Sales fell to their slowest pace in five months, a sign that the housing market has yet to recover fully from brutal winter weather. Sales of new homes declined 3.3 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was down from a revised rate of 455,000 in January. Buying dropped off during February in the Northeast, which was battered by snowstorms. It also fell in Western states, where last year's price increases have made homes less affordable.

Ada Colau: hardened fighter for Spain evictees

Enemies have branded her a "terrorist" and sent her death threats, but 40-year-old mother Ada Colau keeps on fighting for thousands of families facing eviction in Spain's economic crisis. As spokeswoman of the PAH, a grassroots movement campaigning to protect ruined homeowners, she has taken on Spain's banks and politicians, winning an accolade from the European Parliament.

CREA trims sales outlook for 2014, but sees no major correction in 2014 or 2015

OTTAWA - Canada's housing market is slowing, but the Canadian Real Estate Association still sees no signs of an strong correction that would disrupt the economy or crash real estate values. In a new forecast released Monday, the national organization of real estate agencies predicted that sales volumes would continue to grow this year to 463,700 units — a 1.3 per cent gain — over 2013, although that is below the association's projection in December.

Ottawa meddling, not high prices is main threat to Canadian housing: report

OTTAWA - Canada's hot real estate market continued to gather steam last month, but a new report from a respected mortgage and housing expert makes the case that prices are not in bubble territory and, if anything, have room to grow. The report by Toronto-based analyst Will Dunning stands conventional wisdom on its head as related to the Canadian housing market, which almost every think-tank and economist believes is overheated and headed for a fall, whether by way of a soft landing or crash.

Two-thirds of Canadians made an RRSP contribution, up slightly from last year

MONTREAL - Two-thirds of Canadians polled would like to have put more money into their RRSPs for the 2013 tax year, according to a new survey that found average contributions were down slightly this time around. The Bank of Montreal's (TSX:BMO) RRSP deadline survey, conducted last week, said that Canadians were contributing an average of $3,518 to their RRSPs, down $26 from an average of $3,544 for the 2012 tax year. "It looks like from one year to the next, we're consistent," said Chris Buttigieg, senior manager of wealth planning strategy at BMO Financial Group.

US home sales down 5.1 pct. in January because of cold weather, tight supplies, higher costs

WASHINGTON - Sales of existing U.S. homes plummeted in January to the worst pace in 18 months. Cold weather, limited supplies of homes on the market and higher buying costs held back purchases. The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million units last month. That was down 5.1 per cent from the December pace. The sales rate declined 5.1 per cent over the previous 12 months.

US home sales down 5.1 pct. in January because of cold weather, tight supplies, higher costs

WASHINGTON - Sales of existing U.S. homes plummeted in January to the worst pace in 18 months. Cold weather, limited supplies of homes on the market and higher buying costs held back purchases. The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million units last month. That was down 5.1 per cent from the December pace. The sales rate declined 5.1 per cent over the previous 12 months.
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