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US pending home sales up 1.1% in May

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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