SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes declined slightly for the fourth straight month, but it was still a record high for December. The National Association of Realtors said Friday that its index of pending sales dipped 0.3% to 125.5 in December, an all-time high. An index of 100 represents the level of contract activity in 2001. It was the fourth straight monthly decline, but contracts signings last month were up 21.4% over December 2019. Contract signings are considered a barometer of finalized purchases over the next one to two months.