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Contracts to buy US homes slip in June

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in June, as the real estate market appears to have cooled off this summer.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index slipped 1.1 percent to 102.7 last month. The index remains 7.3 percent below its level a year ago.

Sales have been slowed by a mix of meager wage growth, rising home prices, and mortgage rates that rose steadily through the end of last year.

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

Signed contracts in June fell in the Northeast and South. They rose slightly in the Midwest and West. Pending sales in all four U.S. regions are below last year's pace.

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