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U.S. Pending Home Sales Fall as Elevated Prices Slow Momentum

  • Contract signings fell 3.6% in Midwest, rose 0.1% in South
  • Pending purchases still up 22.8% in December from year earlier
A realtor uses a smartphone to provide a virtual video tour of a home for sale in Sacramento, California.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A gauge of U.S. pending home sales fell for the fourth consecutive month in December, reflecting further weakness in the Midwest as rising prices slowed momentum in the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors’ index of pending home sales decreased 0.3% to 125.5 after a revised 2.5% decline in November, according to data released Friday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a retreat of 0.5% in December.