**FILE** In this May 9, 2008 file photo, a foreclosure sign stands outside an existing home on the market in Denver. A record 9 percent of American homeowners with a mortgage were either behind on their payments or in foreclosure at the end of June, as damage from the housing crisis continues to mount, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Friday, Sept. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, file)
WASHINGTON - The National Association of Realtors says pending U.S. home sales fell more than expected in July as the housing market's struggles continued.
The group's seasonally adjusted index of pending sales for existing homes fell 3.2 percent to a reading of 86.5 from an upwardly revised June reading of 89.4. The index was 6.8 percent below year-ago levels.
Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson/IFR had predicted the index would fall to 88.6. The index, which sunk to a record low of 83 in March, stood at 92.2 in July 2007.