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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

NAR: Pending Home Sales Decrease 20.8% in March

by Calculated Risk on 4/29/2020 10:04:00 AM

From the NAR: NAR Calls Housing Market Slump Temporary as Pending Home Sales Fall in March

Pending home sales fell in March, seeing expected declines as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Each of the four major regions saw drops in month-over-month contract activity and year-over-year pending home sales transactions.

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 20.8% to 88.2 in March. Year-over-year, contract signings declined 16.3%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.
The Northeast PHSI dropped 14.5% to 82.3 in March, 11.0% lower than a year ago. In the Midwest, the index decreased 22.0% to 85.6 last month, down 12.4% from March 2019.

Pending home sales in the South sank 19.5% to an index of 103.7 in March, a 17.8% drop from March 2019. The index in the West fell 26.8% in March 2020 to 71.4, down 21.5% 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 April and May. Some of these sales will be cancelled or delayed due to COVID-19.