The numbers: U.S. pending home sales fell 4.6% in October, the fifth straight monthly decline, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal expected pending home sales to fall 5.5%.
The index captures transactions where a contract has been signed, but the home sale has not yet closed.
Key details: On a year-on-year basis, pending home sales were down a sharp 37%.
Sales fell in three of the four regions, with the Midwest registering an increase.
Big picture: Sales have stalled as mortgage rates have jumped, making houses less affordable. Pending home sales are a leading indicator for the sector. Some economists think that buyers might return to the market as mortgage rates have plateaued.
Market reaction: Stocks
opened slightly higher on Wednesday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped to 3.78%.