Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes fell more than expected in August, pointing to a still shaky housing sector.
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The National Association of Realtors said on Monday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, fell 1.0 percent to 104.7. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a decline of just 0.1 percent.
Despite the drop, pending sales were still at the second-highest level of the year. In July, sales had risen 3.2 percent, a touch softer than the previously reported 3.3 percent gain.
The index plunged last year after mortgage interest rates spiked, but have been on a rising trend since this past March.
Contracts signed last month declined in all major regions, except in the West, where they rose for a fourth straight month, the NAR said.