You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Business

Pending sales of US homes slip but remain solid

Even as pending sales slipped, analysts remain positive.

AFP/Getty Images

Even as pending sales slipped, analysts remain positive.

WASHINGTON — Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy US 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 says 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, which was the highest since December 2006.

Continue reading below

The small decline suggests sales of previously owned homes should remain healthy in the coming months.

Final sales jumped to an annual pace of 5.4 million in July, the highest in 3 ½ years, the Realtors said last week. 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.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week