Pending home sales cooled in December, which the National Association of Realtors attributed to fewer homes available for sale and a slight rise in prices. The pending home sales index fell 3.7% during December, though the year-on-year gain was 11.7%, the highest since June 2013. "With interest rates at lows not seen since early 2013, the strength in existing-sales in upcoming months will largely depend on the willingness of current homeowners to realize their equity gains from the past couple years and trade up," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the NAR. November's gain was downwardly revised to show 0.6% growth instead of an initially reported 0.8% advance. Pending home sales measure contracts that have been signed but not yet closed.
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