US pending home sales rose 0.9 percent in June

WASHINGTON — More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in June compared to May, but the volume of pending sales has slipped over the past year.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its pending home sales index rose 0.9 percent last month to 106.9. But on a yearly basis, pending home sales have fallen 2.5 percent.

There are signs that home-buying has stalled in recent months due to the mix of rising prices, higher mortgage rates and a dearth of sales listings.

On a monthly basis, pending sales increased in all four geographic regions: Northeast, Midwest, South and West. But pending sales have also tumbled in all four regions during the past year, especially in the Northeast and West where homes are generally more expensive.

Pending sales are a barometer of home purchases that are completed a month or two later.

After months of steady gains, the housing market has shown evidence of stalling.

The Realtors said last week that completed sales of existing homes fell 0.6 percent in June from the prior month and 2.2 percent over the past 12 months. The median sales price rose 5.2 percent over the past year to $276,900, about double the pace of wage gains.

Sales of newly built homes tumbled 5.3 percent in June, while ground breakings also fell, according to the Commerce Department.

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