SILVER SPRING, Md.: The number of Americans who signed home purchase contracts decreased last month, but for November, when a seasonal recession usually seeps into the real estate market, it was still a record high.
On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors said its index of pending sales dropped 2.6 percent to 125.7 in November, down from the revised reading of 129.1 in October. The index of 100 reflects the level of operation on the contract in 2001. It was the third monthly decline straight.
Contract signings are a barometer of completed sales over the next two months, so the Wednesday report will forecast what a good winter for the housing market might be. Contract signings are already 16.4 percent ahead of where they were last year, thanks to a massive summer turnaround that followed a spring washout due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Low-interest rates have traditionally drawn potential buyers to the market, but home prices have risen sharply in the past year as supply remains close to all-time lows.
According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index published Tuesday, U.S. home prices soared 7.9 percent in October, the highest in June 2014.
Last week, mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac announced that the 30-year fixed-rate home loan average rate stood at a record low of 2.66 percent.