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US pending home sales rose in March

By JOSH BOAK
AP Economics Writer

FILE- In this Jan. 14, 2019, file photo a sold sign is displayed outside a home in Mt. Lebanon, Pa. Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in March compared to the prior month. The National Association of Realtors says that its pending home sales index climbed 3.8% to 105.8. Home sales have been recovering as mortgage rates have retreated after the average 30-year rate peaked at just below 5% in November. Still, pending home sales are running 1.2% below their pace a year ago.  (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

A sold sign is displayed outside a home in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, in January. Almost 4% of Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in March compared to the prior month. (AP File Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in March compared to the prior month.

The National Association of Realtors reported that its pending home sales index climbed 3.8% to 105.8.

Home sales have been recovering as mortgage rates have retreated after the average 30-year rate peaked at just below 5% in November. Still, pending home sales are running 1.2% below their pace a year ago.

The pace of home price growth has also slowed after years of being consistently higher than wage gains, reducing the affordability pressures for would-be buyers.

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

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