Pending home sales decline in July
The Pending Home Sales Index for July declined 1.3% to 109.5 as higher mortgage rates dampened enthusiasm for home buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun didn’t seem concerned by what he called a "modest decline in sales."
The Pending Home Sales Index is a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings. The index has remained above year-ago levels for 27 consecutive months.
The South and Midwest showed little change, but the Northeast and the West fell 6.5% and 4.9%, respectively.
The NAR projects existing-home sales to increase 10% to about 5.1 million for all of 2013. The forecast for 2014 is about 5.2 million.
Toro stokes agricultural grants with ‘Ready. Set. GROW!’
In an effort to support growers in the agricultural trade, Toro is launching a "Ready. Set. GROW!" grant program that will donate $15,000 to sustainable non-profits in the industry.
"Agricultural communities play a vital role in feeding the global population," said the company in a statement. "For Toro, we are committed to supporting growers and organizations in their effort to apply more efficient and sustainable agricultural practices…you might recognize an organization installing drip irrigation in a community garden to more efficiently use water resources; a local non-profit committed to furthering sustainable agricultural practices; or, an organization training military veterans in modern agriculture technologies."
The campaign relies on the public to nominate qualifying non-profits, which must meet one of a number of criteria that include using water-saving technologies, promoting sustainable practices, helping growers integrate modern technology, and educating communities about water efficiency or healthy lifestyles.
Entries can be submitted from Aug. 28 to Sept. 25 on the company’s Facebook page. Four finalists will be asked to submit a one-minute video describing their organizations, after which voting will be open to the public. Winners will be announced Nov. 8 and will receive grants of various amounts based on how many votes they received.