December Pending Home Sales Saw Biggest Increase Since 2020

Pending home sales soared in December, proving that price-sensitive buyers are jumping at the opportunity to lock in sub-7% rates. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index rose by 8.3% month-over-month — their biggest increase since 2020 — to a reading of 77.3 in December. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. Year-over-year, they are up 1.3%. “The housing market is off to a good start this year, as consumers benefit from falling mortgage rates and stable home prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Job additions and income growth will further help with housing affordability, but increased supply will be essential to satisfying all potential demand.” All four U.S. regions saw declines both month-over-month…

Pending Home Sales Sink To Lowest Level In 20 Years

Pending home sales sank to their lowest level in 20 years last month, piling on more tough news for the housing market. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index fell by 1.5% month-over-month and 8.5% YOY to a reading of 71.4 in October. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. This is slightly better than a 2% decrease predicted by economists surveyed by Bloomberg, but still a blow to the market. “During October, mortgage rates were at their highest, and contract signings for existing homes were at their lowest in more than 20 years. Recent weeks’ successive declines in mortgage rates will help qualify more home buyers, but limited housing inventory is significantly preventing housing…

Pending Home Sales Reverse Course

Pending home sales tanked in August, reversing a two-month trend of increases. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index fell by 7.1% to a reading of 71.8 in July. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. “Mortgage rates have been rising above 7% since August, which has diminished the pool of home buyers. Some would-be home buyers are taking a pause and readjusting their expectations about the location and type of home to better fit their budgets,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “It’s clear that increased housing inventory and better interest rates are essential to revive the housing market.” Year-over-year, pending sales dropped by 18.7%. All four U.S. regions saw declines both month-over-month and…

Pending Home Sales Improved In July

Pending home sales were up in July, marking a second month of increases, but there is still lots of room for improvement. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index rose by 0.9% to a reading of 77.6 in July. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. “The small gain in contract signings shows the potential for further increases in light of the fact that many people have lost out on multiple homebuying offers,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Jobs are being added and, thereby, enlarging the pool of prospective home buyers. However, rising mortgage rates and limited inventory have temporarily hindered the possibility of buying for many.” Only seven of the nation’s 200 largest…

Home Sales Reflect Impact Of Rates, Lack Of Inventory

New home sales fell in June as new construction takes heat from rising interest rates, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales fell by 2.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 697,000, compared to May’s revised rate of 715,000. They were up 23.8% from the same time last year, however. The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale was 432,000, up from last month and representing a supply of 7.4 months at the current sales rate. Homebuilders are working hard to keep inventory flowing, providing options for homebuyers. “Builders are also responding to this shift by bringing slightly smaller homes to market in an effort to meet lower price…

Pending Home Sales Saw No Change In April

April brought no change in pending home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index remained at 78.9 in April, the same reading as in March. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. Year-over-year, pending sales dropped by 20.3%. “Not all buying interests are being completed due to limited inventory,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Affordability challenges certainly remain and continue to hold back contract signings, but a sizeable increase in housing inventory will be critical to get more Americans moving.” Analysts differ on when inventory will be correct. ATTOM Data’s Rick Sharga told Bankrate not to expect a big inventory boost anytime soon. But Robert Johnson,…

Pending Home Sales Slipped In March

Pending home sales sank in March as rate-sensitive buyers continued to skirt the market, according to the National Association of Realtors. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index declined by 5.2% between February and March. Year-over-year, it dropped by 23.2%. All four regions saw pending sales fall YOY, and three of the four saw contract signings shrink. Signings increased slightly in the South as the region continues to attract buyers chasing affordability and sunny weather. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun pointed to tight inventory as the main hindrance to sales. “Multiple offers are still occurring on about a third of all listings, and 28% of homes are selling above list price. Limited housing supply is simply not meeting demand nationally,” he said.…

Pending Home Sales Jumped In January

Pending home sales jumped in January, a strong showing and the second increase since May 2022, according to the National Association of Realtors. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index improved 8.1% between December and January. Year-over-year it dropped by 24.1%, an improvement over December’s 33.8% decline. All four regions saw pending sales fall YOY, but signings increased month-over-month in each. “Buyers responded to better affordability from falling mortgage rates in December and January,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. Yun expects home sales to stall in 2023 despite NAR’s data. “Home sales activity looks to be bottoming out in the first quarter of this year, before incremental improvements will occur. But an annual gain in home sales will not occur until…

Rates Down Again, Purchase Demand “Thawing”

The 30-year fixed rate slipped slightly again last week, prompting some pent-up buyers to lock in a purchase, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.13%, down from 6.15% the week prior. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.55%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 5.28% to 5.17%. A year ago, it averaged 2.80%. “Mortgage rates continue to tick down and, as a result, home purchase demand is thawing from the months-long freeze that gripped the housing market,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Potential homebuyers remain sensitive to changes in mortgage rates, but ample demand remains, fueled by first-time homebuyers.” Pending home sales have been…

Pending Home Sales Rise, Breaking Six Month Spiral

Pending home sales rose for the first time since May, breaking a six-month streak of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index increased by 2.5% between November and December. Year-over-year it dropped by 33.8%, an improvement over November’s 37%. All four regions saw pending sales fall YOY, but the South and West saw gains month-over-month. “This recent low point in home sales activity is likely over,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Mortgage rates are the dominant factor driving home sales, and recent declines in rates are clearly helping to stabilize the market.” Mortgage rates fell again last week to 6.13%, drawing some buyers back to the market. Purchase loan applications increased again as…