Fewer homebuyers signed contracts to buy homes in December, the National Association of Realtors reported.

US pending home sales, or transactions based on contract signings, fell 3.8% month over month and 6.9% year over year to 117 in December – marking the second consecutive month of decline.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said that sales were hindered by a “diminished housing supply” and a mortgage rate hike that will “ultimately push aside marginal buyers.” Despite the downturn in December, Yun pointed out that 2021 was still a great year for housing in terms of sales and price appreciation.