Last month, more people signed contracts to buy U.S. homes as temperatures and faith in the market appeared to encourage consumers both nationwide and here at home.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its pending home sales index climbed 5.5 percent in February to 112.3, its highest point since April and its second-highest mark since 2006.

Rising prices may have played a role in nudging potential buyers into making offers now out of fear of having to pay more if they wait.
Lynn Ritchie, a licensed realtor with Keller Williams who lives and works in Minden, said that


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