World Economy

US Realtors Say Pending Home Sales Fall in Nov.

US Realtors Say Pending Home Sales Fall in Nov.US Realtors Say Pending Home Sales Fall in Nov.

Contracts to buy previously owned US homes fell in November for the third time in four months, a signal that growth in the US housing market could be cooling.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its pending home sales index slipped 0.9% to 106.9. The NAR said the index rose slightly more in October than initially estimated, Reuters reported.

Economists had expected a 0.5% increase in November. Pending home contracts become sales after a month or two, and the declines in recent months could point slower growth in home-buying in 2016, when interest rates are expected to rise.

Mortgage rates have only inched higher since the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate by a quarter point on Dec. 16, but Fed policymakers expect to continue hiking next year.

Pending home sales had been posting strong gains earlier in the year and were still up 2.7% from a year ago.

But contracts fell 3% in the Northeast in November from a month earlier and were down 5.5% in the west. They rose 1.3% in the south and gained 1.0$ in the Midwest.