Wednesday, January 29, 2020

NAR: "Pending Home Sales Skid 4.9% in December"

by Calculated Risk on 1/29/2020 10:03:00 AM

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Skid 4.9% in December

Pending home sales fell in December, taking a step back after increasing slightly in November, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Each of the four major regions reported a drop in month-over-month contract activity, with the South experiencing the steepest fall. However, year-over-year pending home sales activity was up nationally compared to one year ago.

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 4.9% to 103.2 in December. Year-over-year contract signings increased 4.6%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.
...
All regional indices were down in December. The Northeast PHSI slipped 4.0% to 92.4 in December, 0.1% lower than a year ago. In the Midwest, the index dropped 3.6% to 98.8 last month, 1.3% higher than in December 2018.

Pending home sales in the South decreased 5.5% to an index of 118.1 in December, a 7.4% increase from December 2018. The index in the West fell 5.4% in December 2019 to 93.1, an increase of 7.0% from a year ago.
emphasis added
This was well below expectations for this index. Note: Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this would usually be for closed sales in January and February.