Fewer Americans sign contracts to buy homes in October

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes fell for the second straight month as lack of available homes continue to stifle house hunters. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its index of pending sales fell 1.1%, to 128.9 in October, down from a reading of 130.3 in September. Thanks to a red-hot summer, contract signings are still 20.2% ahead of where they were last year after lagging in early spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. Three out of four regions saw declines in contract signings, with only the South logging a gain.