The number of contracts Americans signed to buy previously-owned homes unexpectedly fell in October for a fifth consecutive month amid higher borrowing costs that are denting the real-estate recovery.
The gauge of pending home sales decreased 0.6 percent after a 4.6 percent drop in September, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 1 percent gain in the index from the month before.
Higher mortgage rates and price increases driven by a tighter supply of homes for sale may be keeping some prospective buyers out of the real-estate arena. Further gains in hiring and confidence would help boost the housing-market recovery as well as the U.S. economic expansion.