Pending home sales in July grew 5.2% to a reading of 79.4 from a revised 2.8% decrease in June, according to an index released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.

Year over year, the pending home sales index was down 19.1% from last July, when it was 98.1. Sales rose in all U.S. regions.

“Home sales will remain soft,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Recovery looks to be a long process.”

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