The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index measures the number of contracts to buy homes that are signed each month. In June, the index dropped 1.1 percent, though it remains above 100 – which is considered an average level of contract activity. The decline follows three straight months of improvement. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the housing market is stabilizing and activity is notably higher than earlier this year. According to Yun, price appreciation has decreased to its slowest pace since 2012 as inventory levels have increased. Because of this, Yun expects home sales to pick up during the second half of the year with more potential buyers considering homeownership as prices normalize and rent continues to rise. However, there are still areas of the country where inventory is low and conditions may deter potential buyers from taking advantage of today’s favorable mortgage rates. Regionally, pending sales were up in the Midwest, flat in the West, and down in the Northeast and South. More here.