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Contracts to buy homes rose in June for 2nd month

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose for a second month in June. But the gain was not enough to signal a rebound in the weak housing market.

The National Association of Realtors says its index of sales agreements for previously occupied homes rose 2.4 percent in June to a reading of 90.9. A reading of 100 is considered healthy by economists. The last time it was that high was in April 2010.

The report is typically a good indicator of where the housing market is headed. There’s usually a one- to two-month lag between sales contract and completed deals. But the Realtors group says a growing number of contracts have been canceled ahead of closings because of low appraisals.