More Americans sign contracts to buy homes in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in June, marking the second straight month of growth.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that its pending home sales index rose 2.8% to 108.3 in June, up from 105.4 in May. Pending home sales are up 1.6% from their pace a year ago, snapping a 17-month streak of annual declines.

Sales have likely been helped by lower interest rates, which are on average under 4% on a 30-year mortgage.

All four regions saw contracts up from May and last year, with the West seeing the biggest jump in June at 5.4%. The West is also up the most year-over-year with gains of 2.5%.

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

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