Hopeful sign for the housing market
More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in August, signaling that low mortgage rates may spark a sustained turnaround for the housing market.
The National Association of Realtors says its pending home sales index rose 1.6% to 107.3 in August. Pending home sales, which reflect purchases that are usually completed a month or two later, are up 2.5% from their pace a year ago.
Lower borrowing costs have been slowly boosting buyer demand. Persistently high prices, driven up by a tight supply of available homes, had previously blunted the benefits of low mortgage rates. Demand has fluctuated slightly over the past few months as home prices have risen, with contract activity dipping in July.
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