The number of contracts to buy previously owned homes fell more than forecast in November as Americans waited for a first-time buyer tax credit to be extended.

The index of signed purchase agreements, or pending home sales, dropped 16%, after a revised 3.9% October gain that was more than initially reported, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. It was the first decrease in 10 months.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.