WASHINGTON (AP) — Pending home sales sank in October, as higher mortgage rates have worsened the affordability of home ownership and dampened enthusiasm among would-be buyers.
The National Association of Realtors says that its pending home sales index fell 2.6 percent last month to 102.1. The index based on contract signings has tumbled 6.7 percent from a year ago.
The housing downturn has corresponded with a jump in mortgage rates that began last year after President Donald Trump's tax cuts led to higher budget deficits and interest rates charged on U.S. Treasury notes.
Contract signings dropped most sharply in the West, but they also declined in the Midwest and South. The index increased in the Northeast.
Pending sales are a barometer of home purchases that are completed a month or two later.