Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in January, as the recent hot streak appears to have been curbed by a shortage of properties for sale and colder weather.
The National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 2.5 percent to 106 in January. The decline comes after the sales index averaged 108.9 in 2015, its highest level since 2006.
The number of signed contracts decreased in the Northeast, Midwest and West. Prospective sales improved slightly in the South. But a shortage of listings has weighed down the potential for sales increases akin to last year’s increase.
At the current sales rate, the inventory of homes would be exhausted in four months. A balanced market usually contains six months’ supply.
The Associated Press