Pending US home sales slip last month after big January gain

By CHRISTOPHER RUGABERFeaturesAssociated Press

Fewer Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in February after a big gain the previous month.

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The National Association of Realtors says that its pending home sales index slipped 1 percent to 101.9. That followed a 4.3 percent jump in January, which came after average mortgage rates fell from a recent peak of nearly 5 percent in November.

Slower home price increases, lower mortgage rates and a pickup in the number of homes for sale has spurred a budding rebound in home sales this year, after they slumped in 2018. Sales of existing homes soared 11.8 percent in January, the biggest jump in more than three years.

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