You Should Be Feeling Busier: Pending Sales Up
October 27, 2016
Contract signings moved higher last month, reaching the fifth highest level over the past year, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Thursday. Pending home sale increases in the South and West offset declines in the Northeast and Midwest regions.
Here’s a closer look at how NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index fared across the country:
- Northeast: pending home sales dropped 1.6 percent to 96.5 in September, but remain 7.7 percent above a year ago.
- Midwest: pending home sales fell slightly by 0.2 percent to 104.6 in September, and are 1 percent lower than a year ago.
- South: pending home sales increased 1.9 percent to an index of 122.1 in September and are 1.7 percent higher than last September.
- West: pending home sales surged 4.7 percent in September to 107.3, and are 4 percent above a year ago.
The Pending Home Sales Index rose 1.5 percent in September to a 110 reading. The index is now 2.4 percent higher than a year ago.
“Buyer demand is holding up impressively well this fall with REALTORS® reporting much stronger foot traffic compared to a year ago,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Although depressed inventory levels are keeping home prices elevated in most of the country, steady job gains and growing evidence that wages are finally starting to tick up are encouraging more household to consider buying a home.”
The overall housing market is showing improvement this fall. Existing-home sales matched their third highest pace of 5.47 million since February 2007. Also, distressed sales have fallen to their lowest share since NAR began tracking them in 2008. First-time home buyers are also increasing their numbers, matching their highest share since July 2012 and now comprising 34 percent of home sales, NAR reports.
“The one major predicament in the housing market is without a doubt the painfully low levels of housing inventory in much of the country,” Yun says. “It’s leading to home prices outpacing wages, properties selling a lot quicker than a year ago and the home search for many prospective buyers being highly competitive and drawn out because of a shortage of listings at affordable prices.”
Updated: August 19, 2019