US pending home sales edge higher in November

Monday 30 December 2013 15.15
The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index rose by 0.2% last month
The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index rose by 0.2% last month

Contracts to buy second hand US homes edged up slightly in November, marking the first increase in six months, but failed to stabilise by as much as had been expected.

The National Association of Realtors said today that its pending home sales index, based on contracts signed last month, rose by 0.2% to 101.7. Contracts were 1.6% below last November's levels.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected signed contracts, which become sales after a month or two, to rise 1%.

US housing sales have been dampened by a rise in mortgage rates as investors anticipated that the Federal Reserve would start to reduce the level of stimulus it provides the US economy as the nation's recovery takes hold.

The Fed said earlier this month that it would scale back monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion in January and would maintain this moderate pace of tapering over the course of the year.