Pending home sales down in January

West sees the biggest monthly decline

Homebuyers signed fewer contracts for existing homes in January compared to December, but more compared to January 2009, according to a report released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.

The index dropped 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 90.4 from an upwardly revised 97.8 the month before; the index rose 12.3 percent year-over-year, however, from 80.5, the report said.