Monday, February 29, 2016

NAR: Pending Home Sales Index decreased 2.5% in January, up 1.4% year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 2/29/2016 10:01:00 AM

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Cool Down in January

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, declined 2.5 percent to 106.0 in January from an upwardly revised 108.7 in December but is still 1.4 percent above January 2015 (104.5). Although the index has increased year-over-year for 17 consecutive months, last month’s annual gain was the second smallest (September 2014 at 1.2 percent) during the timeframe.
...
The PHSI in the Northeast declined 3.2 percent to 94.5 in January, but is still 10.9 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index fell 4.9 percent to 101.1 in January, but is still 1.4 percent above January 2015.

Pending home sales in the South inched up 0.3 percent to an index of 121.1 in January but remain 1.3 percent lower than last January. The index in the West decreased 4.5 percent in January to 96.5, but is still 0.4 percent above a year ago.
emphasis added
This was below expectations of a 0.5% increase for this index.  Note: Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this would usually be for closed sales in February and March.