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Number Of Signed Contracts To Buy Homes Falls

The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index tracks the number of contracts to buy homes signed each month. Because contract signings precede closings by several weeks, the index is considered a good predictor of future home sales numbers. In January, the index fell 4.9 percent month-over-month. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says Americans are sensitive to mortgage rate fluctuations and it may be impacting activity. “The job market is solid, and the country's total wealth reached a record high due to stock market and home price gains,” Yun said. “This combination of economic conditions is favorable for home buying. However, consumers are showing extra sensitivity to changes in mortgage rates in the current cycle, and that's impacting home sales.” Regionally, contract signings were down in the South and Midwest but saw slight increases in the Northeast and West.


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