The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes fell slightly in October, as tight credit and lagging wages remained financial hurdles for would-be home-buyers.
The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending-home-sales index fell 1.1 percent the past month, to 104.1. The index remains below its 2013 average, but is 2.2 percent higher than last October.
Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.
Housing has struggled to fully rebound since the recession ended more than five years ago. Many potential buyers lack the savings and strong credit history needed to afford a home, causing them to rent or remain in their existing houses instead of upgrading.