Pending Home Sales Mostly Flat in January

March 3, 2014

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Pending Home Sales Index—a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings—ticked up 0.1 percent in January, remaining 9 percent below year-ago levels. Pending home sales showed monthly gains in the South and Northeast, but those gains were mostly offset by declines in the West and Midwest.

“Ongoing disruptive weather patterns in much of the U.S. inhibited home shopping,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Limited inventory also is playing a role, especially in the West, while credit remains tight and affordability isn’t as favorable as it was a year ago.”

Here’s a closer look at how pending home sales fared regionally in January:

  • Northeast: Pending home sales rose 2.3 percent, but remain 5.3 percent below year-ago levels.
  • Midwest: Pending home sales fell 2.5 percent in January and are 9.3 percent lower than they were in January 2013.
  • South: Pending home sales rose 3.5 percent in January and are 5.5 percent below one year ago.
  • West: Pending home sales dropped 4.8 percent and are 17.5 percent below year-ago levels.

NAR did project that existing-home sales would be weaker in the first quarter due to price increases and tight housing inventories. But the association expects the pace of sales to pick up in the middle part of this year.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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