U.S. pending home sales index rose 1.3% in July

Shutterstock photoBy Jeffrey Sparshott | The Wall Street Journal

A measure of homes under contract for sale rose in July, a sign of steady demand amid low interest rates and rising employment.

The National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales index, which tracks contract signings for purchases of previously owned homes, increased a seasonally adjusted 1.3% to 111.3 in July, the trade group said Wednesday. Sales then typically close within a month or two of signings.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.7% rise.

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