NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that December's pending home sales pace declined 3.8% from the previous month and fell 6.9% from a year ago.
Pending sales represent homes that have a signed contract to purchase on them but have yet to close. They tend to lead existing-home sales data by 1 to 2 months.
All of the four regions showed declines from a year ago. The West had the largest dip of 16.2% followed by Northeast with a drop in contract signings of 10.5%. The South fell 3.9% followed by the Midwest with the smallest decline of 0.6%.
From last month, all four regions showed reductions in contract signings. The West region had the largest dip of 10% followed by the Midwest with a decrease of 3.7%. The South fell 1.8% followed by the West with the smallest decline of 1.2%.
The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 117.7.
December's contract signings bring the pending index above the 100-level mark for the 19-consecutive month.
The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with existing-home sales above the 5 million mark.