NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that September's pending home sales pace weakened 10.2% last month and fell 31.0% from a year ago.
Pending sales represent homes with a signed contract to purchase but have yet to close. They tend to lead existing-home sales data by one to two months.
All four regions showed double-digit declines from a year ago. The West had the most significant dip of 38.7%, followed by the Northeast with a drop in contract signings of 30.1%. The South fell 30.0%, followed by the Midwest, with the smallest decline of 26.7%.
From last month, all four regions showed reductions in contract signings. The Northeast had the largest dip of 16.2%, followed by the West, with a decrease of 11.7%. The Midwest dropped 8.8%, followed by the South, which had the smallest decline of 8.1%.
The U.S. pending home sales index level for September was 79.5. August pending sales figures were revised to 88.5.
September's contract signings bring the pending index below the 100-level mark for the sixth consecutive month.
The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with existing home sales above the 5 million mark.