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(Bloomberg) — Contracts to purchase previously owned homes rose less than forecast in September, showing housing will take time to gain momentum.

The pending home sales index increased 0.3 percent after dropping 1 percent in August, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 1 percent gain.

Still-tight credit and low inventories remain hurdles for a sluggish housing recovery that’s still healing more than five years after the downturn. More Americans are being helped by faster progress in the employment picture, allowing those who are able to get a mortgage the opportunity to take advantage of historically low rates.

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