US pending home sales up 1.1% in May

Business

In this June 13, 2019, photo a house on the market has a “sold pending” sign fixed on the realtor’s sign in northeast Jackson, Miss. On Thursday, June 27, the National Association of Realtors releases its May report on pending home sales, which are seen as a barometer of future purchases. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in May compared with the prior month, a sign buyers may be ready take advantage of low interest rates and stabilizing home prices.

The National Association of Realtors says that its pending home sales index rose 1.1% to a reading of 105.4.

Home sales have been slowing even with average 30-year mortgage rates slipping below 4% last month. During the first five months of the year, purchases of new homes fell 3.7% compared to the same period in 2018, although existing home sales — the bulk of the market — rebounded in May.

U.S. home price gains slowed for the 13th straight month in April.

Pending sales is a measure of home purchases that are usually completed a month or two later.

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