Signed contracts to buy US homes plunge 8.7 per cent last month, evidence of housing slowdown | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Signed contracts to buy US homes plunge 8.7 per cent last month, evidence of housing slowdown

January 30, 2014 - 7:03 AM

WASHINGTON - Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes in December, suggesting a slowdown in real estate. Pending home sales fell to the lowest point since October 2011.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index dropped 8.7 per cent last month to 92.4. That's the seventh straight monthly decline for the index, which previews upcoming sales. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a signed contract and a completed sale.

Rising mortgage rates and price increases crimped sales in recent months. Cold weather in December also stalled home purchases.

The housing market benefited from historically low mortgage rates for much of last year. Sales of previously occupied homes totalled 5.1 million in 2013, the highest in seven years, the trade group said last week.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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