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Urban and rural property
After Dismal Year, Homebuilders See Hope in 2012
Home Sales Rise to 11-Month High
Report: Foreclosures Down, But Discounts Abound
Home Sales Sunnier as Spring Buying Season Approaches
New Home Sales Dip, But Beat Expectations
Fannie Mae, Facing Deficit, Asks Fed for Another $4.5 Billion
Home Values Build for 3rd Consecutive Month
Real Home Price Recovery Not Expected Until Spring
Home Sales: Rise Reflects Steady Improvement
Economists: Housing Recovery Finally Here
Home Prices Increase in Most Major U.S. Cities
Pending Home Sales Near 6-Year High
Home Prices Rise 6.3% in October, Most in 6 Years
Housing Market 2013: Predictions of What's to Come
Housing Recovery Officially in Full Swing, Data Suggests
Can't Get a Mortgage? Here's Why
Trulia Housing Barometer: Housing Market 52% Back to Normal
Home Prices Post Best Yearly Increase Since 2006
Tom Roeser Buys Up Town's Foreclosure Stock to Keep It Thriving
Housing Is Back! Best Moves for Homebuyers
Trulia: Housing Recovery Marches on in March
Are Real Estate Commercials Skirting Realities of Homebuying?
Trulia: Housing in 'Early Stages' of Multiyear Recovery
Obama Proposes Fundamental Overhaul of U.S. Mortgage System
Pending Home Sales Slip in July but Remain Solid
Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy U.S. homes in July, but the level stayed close to a 6½-year high. The modest decline suggests higher mortgage rates have yet to sharply slow sales.

The National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales declined 1.3 percent to 109.5. That's close to May's reading of 111.3, the highest since December 2006.

The small decline suggests sales of previously owned homes should remain healthy in the coming months. There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.


Sales jumped to an annual pace of 5.4 million in July, the highest in 3½ years. That's consistent with a healthy housing market. Higher mortgage rates appeared to have had a bigger impact on new-home sales, which plummeted last month. That raised fears that rate increases were restraining the housing recovery.

But many economists note that home prices and mortgage rates remain low by historical standards. Consistent job gains and rising consumer confidence may also support sales in the coming months.

"Higher mortgage rates are clearly negative for housing, but other key drivers, including the labor market, confidence, and expectations for prices and interest rates still point to improvement," Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said in a note to clients.

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage reached 4.58 percent last week, the highest level in two years and up from 3.35 percent in early May. Still, that's below the average since 1985 of about 7 percent, according to Bankrate.com.

Mortgage rates began to rise after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke first signaled that the Fed might reduce its bond purchases later this year. The purchases have helped keep borrowing costs low.

Rising home prices and more construction have boosted economic growth and created more jobs. The housing recovery has provided crucial support to the economy when other drivers, such as manufacturing, have struggled.

However, gains in home prices may be starting to level off. Prices jumped 12.1 percent in June from a year earlier, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index released Tuesday. That's slightly slower than May's 12.2 percent year-over-year gain. But price increases slowed in June from May in 14 of the 20 cities tracked by the index.

The stabilization in prices isn't necessarily a bad thing, economists said, because it could keep homes affordable and help prevent a bubble from developing in the housing market.
  
Shopping for a Home in Winter
Secrets to a Successful Move
Saving the Best for Last
Renting to Own
New House or an Old One?
Make Them An Offer They Can't Refuse
Lifestyle Choices Affect Bottom Line
Inspecting Your Home Inspector
In Love With Two Houses?
How to Track Down Foreclosure Properties
Home-buying With Others
Five Keys to Successful Negotiation
Five Key Areas to Pay Attention to When Buying a Home
Finding a Good Home Inspector
Find the Perfect Neighborhood
Don't Overlook a Home's Potential
Do You Have Buyer's Paralysis?
Debt Reduction Not Required to Buy
Debating Between a Condo or a House
Contingencies Your Home Offer Should Include
Can You Afford to Buy a House?
Buying a Home With Loans from Family and Friends
Buyers, Get an Edge During The Busy Spring Season
Affordability Options for First-time Home Buyers
14 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home
12 Red Flags That Should Raise Concern
10 Summer Moving Tips
Experts Predict Annual Home Value Appreciation to Exceed 6 Percent in 2013
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Housing Starts Rise in July but Fall Short of Forecasts
Giants Masking Billions in Losses for Overdue Mortgages
Home Sales in July Rise to Levels Last Seen in 2009
Rise in Rates Reduces Demand for New Mortgages
Mortgage Rates Rise to Their Highest Levels in 2 Years
The 5 Best States to Buy a Home - If You're a Banker
Home Prices Rise in June at Slightly Slower Pace
Pending Home Sales Slip in July but Remain Solid
Foreclosures Fall 25% in July from a Year Ago
Home Prices Climbed 12.4 Percent in July
Mortgage Applications Rise, as Interest Rates Slip a Bit
Mortgage Rates Edge Up to Near Yearly Highs
What You Should Look for When House Hunting
What is PMI?
Trying to Buy A Diamond In The Rough?
Trouble Pulling the Trigger on Your First Home?
Title Insurance: Who Needs It?
Title Insurance
The Hidden Costs of Homeownership
The Art of House Hunting
The Appraisal Contingency
Sometimes Smaller Is Better
Signs That You're Ready to Buy
Should You Pay Discount Points?
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