The pending home sales index, an index tracking the level of sales contracts on previously owned homes, dropped another 4.0% in November, after a downwardly-revised 4.3% decline in October. The index came in at 82.3, down from 85.7 the previous month. Economists were expecting a less drastic 1.0% decline, though, as things weren’t expected to be very ugly. It just wasn’t so, as sales were negative in all four regions measured (via Realtor.org):

The PHSI in the Northeast dropped 7.2 percent to 63.2 in November and is 14.6 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index fell 6.7 percent to 74.2 and is 10.1 percent below November 2007. The index in the South declined 2.2 percent to 85.3 in November and is 12.7 percent below a year ago. In the West, the index was down 2.4 percent to 101.2 but remains 19.3 percent higher than November 2007.

The index, which is considered a leading indicator of existing home sales, is down 5.3% in the last year.

See Full Report.