A gauge of pending home sales fell 1.4% in August to the lowest level in five months, suggesting buyers have been deterred by rising prices tied to a shortage of homes on the market. The index from the National Association of Realtors declined to seasonally adjusted 109.4 in August from 110.9 in the prior month. "Pending sales have leveled off since mid-summer, with buyers being bounded by rising prices and few available and affordable properties within their budget," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. Still, pending sales are 6.1% above year-ago levels, reflecting a step-up in purchases in 2015. An index reading of 100 equals the average contract activity level in 2001.
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