Potential homebuyers may be hitting the limit of what they can afford. Pending home sales, a measure of signed contracts on existing homes, fell 2.2 percent in September compared with August, according to the National Association of Realtors.
It was the first monthly decline in 4 months. Analysts had expected a small monthly gain. Pending sales were 20.5 percent higher annually.
The Northeast, which is seeing distinct urban flight from New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic, was the only region to post a gain. Sales were up 2 percent for the month and 27.7 percent annually.
In the Midwest, pending sales fell 3.2 percent monthly but were up 18.5 percent from September 2019.
Pending home sales in the South decreased 3 percent monthly and increased 19.6 percent annually. In the West, sales fell 2.6 percent monthly and were up 19.3 percent from a year ago.
“With persistent low mortgage