US pending home sales fell in November

WASHINGTON (AP) Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in November. The decrease likely reflects rising mortgage rates and the shallow inventory of properties on the market.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 2.5 percent to 107.3, its lowest reading since the start of 2016. Pending sales declined in the Midwest, South and West, while improving in the Northeast.

Mortgage rates began to surge after Donald Trump's presidential win in November, making it more expensive to purchase a home. Average 30-year fixed rate mortgages were 4.3 percent last week, up from a 52-week low of 3.4 percent.

Pending sales contracts are a barometer of future purchases. A sale is typically completed a month or two after a contract is signed.