Pending home sales retreated for the fourth straight month in December. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales Index, which indicates contracts signed during the month to purchase single-family houses, townhomes, condos, and cooperative apartment. dipped 0.3 percent to 125.5. The decline was primarily due to fewer new contracts in the Midwest. Before the recent retreat started in September, pending home sales had put together four months of strong results resulting in the index reaching 132.8 in August. The December PHSI was 21.4 percent higher than its level in December 2019 and the highest ever recorded for a December as the seasonal dislocation of traditional home buying patterns continues. Analysts polled by Econoday were spot on with their December forecast. They had predicted that the index would fall as much as 3.6 percent or rise as much as 1.0 percent. Their consensus, however, was a downturn of 0.3 percent.