The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales dropped 4.3 per cent to 101.7 in December. That's still 6.9 per cent higher than it was a year ago.
The decline signals that sales of previously occupied homes may drop in the coming months. There's generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.
Still, sales of previously occupied homes rose last year to their highest level in five years. And the Realtors' group forecasts that sales will rise 9 per cent this year as the housing market steadily recovers.