A leading indicator of existing-home sales fell 4.9% in March, signaling that sales in April and possibly May will be "soft," according to the National Association of Realtors.The Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on sales contracts signed in March, fell to 104.3 in March from 109.7 in February. On a year-over-year basis, the index is down 10.5% since March 2006. The NAR recently reported that sales of previously owned homes fell 8.5% in March. So the decline in the pending sales index does not bode well for the rest of the spring selling season. "Although the weather improved in March, we're starting to see the effects of a decline in subprime lending and tighter lending standards," NAR chief economist David Lereah said. The NAR can be found online at http://www.realtor.org.

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