Americans unexpectedly signed the fewest contracts to buy previously owned homes in more than five years in May as buyers waited for lower prices and lenders made it harder to get mortgages.
The index of signed purchase agreements, or pending home resales, dropped 3.5 percent to 97.7 from a revised 101.2 in April, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington.
Today's report showed that the May reading was the lowest level since September 2001, when the economy was in the midst of the last recession. April pending home resales were revised to a decline of 3.5 percent. (Bloomberg, June 3, 2007)