Pending home sales decline in July

The Pending Home Sales Index for July declined 1.3% to 109.5 as higher mortgage rates dampened enthusiasm for home buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The NAR's Chief Economist Lawrence Yun didn't seem concerned by what he called a "modest decline in sales." 

The Pending Home Sales Index is a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings. The index has remained above year-ago levels for 27 consecutive months.

The South and Midwest showed little change, but the Northeast and the West fell 6.5% and 4.9%, respectively. 

The NAR projects existing-home sales to increase 10% to about 5.1 million for all of 2013. The forecast for 2014 is about 5.2 million.