U.S. Pending Home Sales Fall to 1-Year Low

Washington, Jumada I 20, 1437, Feb 29, 2016, SPA — Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes fell to their lowest level in a year in January, likely due to severe winter weather and a shortage of properties for sale, an industry group reported Monday.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said its pending home sales index fell 2.5 percent to 106 last month, the lowest level since January 2015. The decline comes after the sales index averaged 108.9 last year, its highest level since 2006.
Pending home contracts become sales after one or two months, and January’s unexpected decline suggested home re-sales likely will weaken after rising 0.4 percent last month. Contracts were up 1.4 percent from a year ago.
While a blizzard in the northeastern United States may have contributed to declining sales, “the recent acceleration in home prices and minimal inventory throughout the country appears to be the primary obstacle holding back would-be buyers,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

20:07 LOCAL TIME 17:07 GMT