Fewer mort­gages signed in Jan.

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - MARKETS -

Fewer Amer­i­cans signed con­tracts to pur­chase homes last month as ris­ing prices, higher mort­gage rates and a dwin­dling sup­ply of homes ap­peared to frus­trate po­ten­tial buy­ers, es­pe­cially in the West.

The Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors said Mon­day that its sea­son­ally ad­justed pend­ing home sales in­dex fell 2.8 per­cent to 106.4, the level in a year.

The de­cline sug­gests that higher mort­gage rates, which have risen by about a half-per­cent­age point since the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, may be start­ing to bite into sales. And the num­ber of homes for sale has fallen to near-record lows, forc­ing many would-be buy­ers to bid up prices. low­est

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