Pending home sales fell 2.6% to an index reading of 99.2 in August after an upwardly revised 2.6% increase to 101.9, originally reported as a 2.4% increase to 101.7 in July, according to a report released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted that the index would be unchanged.
Year-over-year the pending homes sales index is up 10.7% from last August, when the index was 89.6.
Regionally, pending sales mostly fell. The Northeast saw a 0.9% increase to 78.2, while sales slid 2.6% in the Midwest to 95.0. In the South, sales slumped 1.1% to 110.4, and sales fell 7.2% to 102.5 in the West.
"The performance in month-to-month contract signings has been uneven with ongoing shortages of lower priced inventory in much of the country, and across most price ranges in the West, but activity has remained at notably higher levels this year," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.
"The index shows 16 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, and that has translated into a higher number of closed sales. Year-to-date existing-home sales are 9 percent above the same period last year, but sales were relatively flat from 2008 through 2011," Yun added.