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Contracts to buy U.S. homes fell slightly in August

Updated: September 27, 2012 12:18PM



WASHINGTON — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes fell in August from a two-year high in July.

The National Association of Realtors says its index of sales agreements dropped 2.6 percent last month to 99.2. In July, the index rose to 101.9. That was the highest level since April 2010, when the market benefited from a federal home-buying tax credit.

A reading of 100 is considered healthy. The index is 10.7 percent higher than it was a year ago. The index bottomed at 75.88 in June 2010 after the tax credit expired.

Contract signings typically indicate where the housing market is headed. There’s generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed deal. Last month, completed sales hit a two-year high.



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