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Signed contracts to buy US homes barely up; housing market starting 2014 weaker than in 2013

The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes was essentially flat in January, a possible sign of a softening real estate market.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index inched up 0.1 last month to 95. The index has fallen 9 percent over the past 12 months as sales momentum has faded.

Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases: A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a signed contract and a completed sale.

Higher mortgage rates, rising prices and a tight supply of homes have restricted sales in recent months. Snowstorms across much of the country also delayed purchases.

Sales of existing homes plummeted in January to the weakest pace in 18 months, the trade group said last week.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 4.09% dw 4.17%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.15% dw 3.19%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.32% dw 4.35%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.18% dw 3.30%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.70% up 3.56%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.38% dw 4.41%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.05% dw 4.06%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.07% dw 5.08%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.55% dw 4.56%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.55% dw 4.56%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 3.06% -- 3.06%  
36 M Used Graph 3.51% up 3.29%  
48 M New Graph 3.05% up 2.96%  
48 M Used Graph 2.88% dw 2.96%  
60 M New Graph 3.08% dw 3.22%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.37% -- 0.37%  
1 yr Graph 0.60% -- 0.60%  
5 yr Graph 1.45% up 1.45%