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Measure of US pending home sales rises to highest level in more than 2 ½ years

A measure of the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January from December to the highest level in more than 2 ½ years. The increase suggests sales of previously occupied homes will continue rising in the coming months.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales rose 4.5 percent last month to 105.9. That's the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer's tax credit was about to expire.

There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

Sales of previously occupied homes ticked up in January after rising to their highest level in five years in 2012. Steady hiring and near record low mortgage rates have encouraged more Americans to buy homes.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 3.79% dw 3.84%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 2.90% dw 2.95%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.36% up 4.28%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.23% -- 3.23%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.54% dw 3.64%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.75% dw 4.76%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.05% up 4.04%  
$30K Loan Graph 4.99% -- 4.99%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.35% -- 4.35%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.35% -- 4.35%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.67% up 2.65%  
36 M Used Graph 3.18% up 3.17%  
48 M New Graph 2.94% up 2.93%  
48 M Used Graph 2.79% -- 2.79%  
60 M New Graph 3.06% up 3.04%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.41% up 0.40%  
1 yr Graph 0.71% dw 0.72%  
5 yr Graph 1.45% -- 1.45%