New figures from the National Realtors Association show that the number of contracts signed for existing US home sales fell in August. The index had been trending higher in recent months and was expected to be unchanged for August but instead it declined by 1 per cent. Investors have pulled back on their purchase of distressed properties, which accounts for some of the decline. While new sales were up in August they only account for 10 per cent of all property transactions and this new data has caused concern among some analysts that the market’s recovery is not assured. Read the full story.