Pending home sales drop in the U.S. - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Pending home sales drop in the U.S.

WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell last month after reaching a 2 1/2-year high in November. 

Sales were held back by a limited supply of available homes.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales dropped 4.3 percent in December.  That's still 6.9 percent higher than it was in 2011.

The decline indicates sales of previously occupied homes may drop in the coming months.  There's generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

However, sales of previously occupied homes rose last year to their highest level in five years.

The Realtors' group predicts sales will rise nine percent this year as the housing market steadily recovers.

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