Signed contracts to buy US homes level off

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Associated Press

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 30 at 10:03 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy existing homes in November was essentially unchanged from October, suggesting sales are stabilizing after several months of declines.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index ticked up to 101.7 from 101.5 in October. The figure for October was revised lower from an initial reading of 102.1.

There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

Higher mortgage rates and strong price gains over the past two years have slowed sales. Completed sales of existing homes fell for the third straight month in November, the Realtors said earlier this month.

Still, home re-sales should reach 5.1 million in 2013, the best total in seven years.

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