By Kerry Smith
While the number of homes didn’t change, it varied by region. Of the four included in NAR’s report, pending sales fell only in the Northeast but rose everywhere else.
WASHINGTON – Pending home sales were unchanged month-to-month in April, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) monthly report.
Pending sales rose in three of the four regions broken out in the report, with the decline in only one region – the Northeast – dragging down the overall number. However, all four regions saw a year-to-year drop in pending sales.
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) – a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings – remained at 78.9 in April, the same as in March. Year-over-year, pending transactions dropped by 20.3%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.
“Not all buying interests are being completed due to limited inventory,” says 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.”
Pending home sales regional breakdown: The Northeast PHSI dropped 11.3% from March to 59.1, a decrease of 21.8% year-to-year. The Midwest index improved 3.6% to 78.4 in April, down 21.4% from a year ago.
The South PHSI, which includes Florida, increased 0.1% to 99.6 in April, down 16.7% from the prior year. The West index rose 4.7% in April to 62.2, sliding 26.0% year-to-year.
“Minor monthly variations in regional activity are typical,” says Yun. “However, cumulative results over many years clearly point towards a much greater number of home sales in the South. The South’s pending home sales activity is similar to that of 2001 (the year NAR created the NFIP), but the Midwest’s activity has decreased by 22% in that same period, and the Northeast and West regions are both about 40% lower than they were in 2001.”
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