National Association of Realtors

US pending home sales slump in August

Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in August, as a shortage of properties for sale is weighing on the market.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 2.4 percent last month to 108.5, its lowest reading since January. The number of signed contracts slumped sharply in the South, the nation's largest housing market. But pending sales improved in the Northeast, Midwest and West.

Home purchases and prices have risen much of this year but a slowdown surfaced in August as a lack of inventory has hurt the market. Would-be buyers are confronting increasingly limited choices and rising prices, offsetting the...

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