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/ Source: CNBC.com

Warmer weather and higher expectations failed to cause a meaningful surge in home sales.

Signed contracts to buy existing homes increased just 0.4 percent in April, according to Thursday's monthly report from the National Association of Realtors. The expectation had been for at least a 2 percent gain sequentially.

The Realtors' so-called pending home sales index is now 9.2 percent lower than April of 2013.

"Higher inventory levels are giving buyers more choices, and a slight decline in mortgage interest rates this spring is raising prospective homebuyers' confidence," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR. "An uptrend in closed sales is expected, although some months will encounter a modest setback."

A sale pending sign in front of a home in San Francisco. More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in April than March, but the pace of buying is still weaker than last year, as higher prices and relatively tight supplies have limited sales.Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.