The pace of Americans signing contracts to buy homes fell 4.7 percent in January to its lowest level in more than three years, due to a lack of homes for sale, higher prices and rising mortgage rates.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its index of pending sales sank to 104.6 from 109.8 in December. That marks the index’s lowest reading since October of 2014. Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. Final sales typically follow a month or two after a signed contract.