Contracts to buy US homes slide in August

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in August, suggesting that real estate sales will remain sluggish over the next few months.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 1 percent over the past month to 104.7. Higher prices and weak wage growth has limited buying, as the index is 2.2 percent below its level from a year ago.

Price increases going back to 2013 have led to fewer homebuyers, while many families have lacked income to save for down payments. August contracts fell in all four geographical regions — Northeast, Midwest, South and West — compared to the prior month.

Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.