The U.S. pending home sales index dropped for the fifth consecutive month in October, reaching its lowest since last December, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The index - reflecting contracts and not closed sales -- dropped 0.6 percent to 102.1 in October, from an upwardly revised 102.7 last month. It is 1.6 percent lower than last year.
NAR expected the drop in market activity for October.
"The government shutdown in the first half of last month sidelined some potential buyers," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. "We could rebound a bit from this level, but still face the headwinds of limited inventory and falling affordability conditions."
The index grew modestly in the Northeast and Midwest, while dropping in the South and West.