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Us - Pending Sales Of Existing Homes Slump By Most In Three Years

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-28/pending-sales-of-existing-homes-slump-by-most-in-three-years.html

Fewer Americans than forecast signed contracts to buy previously owned homes in September, the fourth straight month of declines, as rising mortgage rates slowed momentum in the housing market.

The index of pending home sales slumped 5.6 percent, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists and the biggest drop in more than three years, after a 1.6 percent decrease in August, the National Association of Realtors reported today in Washington. The index fell to the lowest level this year.

Mortgage rates last month reached two-year highs and some homeowners are reluctant to put properties up for sale as they wait for prices to climb, leading to tight inventories. Those forces are pushing some would-be buyers to the sidelines and slowing the pace of recovery in real estate, giving Federal Reserve policy makers reason to delay reducing stimulus when they meet this week.

“We’ll be in this weakness for a little bit, maybe even going into the fourth quarter,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, a U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York, the second-best forecaster of pending home sales over the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “This is a clear signal to the Fed as to what happens when you try to play with nascent housing recovery. The minutes indicated they were really concerned about it.”

Although the thought that US prices may still be over-valued is lost on the VI's pumping up a recovery.

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