Pending Home Sales Highest In 19 Months
Pending home sales increased 7.3% in November from the previous month to reach the highest level in 19 months at an index of 100.1. November’s index was 5.9% higher than last November’s results. Pending home sales includes contracts rather than closings, but economists feel that these strong results indicate that closed existing-home sales should improve in the future.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the gains may result partially from delayed transactions. “Housing affordability conditions are at a record high and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who’ve been on the sidelines, but contract failures have been running unusually high. Some of the increase in pending home sales appears to be from buyers recommitting after an initial contract ran into problems, often with the mortgage,” he said.
By region, the month-over-month change in the index was best in the West with a 14.9% increase, followed by the Northeast with an 8.1% gain. The South also saw monthly gains with a 4.3% gain along with the Midwest, which increased 3.3% from October to November. From a year ago, the Midwest and South reported the largest increases at 9.5% and 8.7% respectively.
Source: National Association of Realtors