House hunters signed 2.2 percent fewer contracts to buy existing homes in December, according to the National Association of Realtors.

These so-called pending sales are a future indicator of closings in one to two months. The Realtors’ pending home sales index was also down a dramatic 9.8 percent compared with December 2017.

This marks 12 straight months of annual declines. It is also the lowest December sales reading since 2013.

Some observers expected sales to get a boost in December from a drop in interest rates. Mortgage rates moved markedly lower to end 2018, with the average rate on the popular 30-year fixed loan falling from just over 5 percent in mid-November all the way to 4.61 percent by Dec. 31, according to Mortgage News Daily.

Read more in CNBC.