Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

August 2019 Pending Home Sales

  • NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that August’s pending home sales pace was up 1.6% from last month and rose 2.5 % from a year ago.
Bar chart: Pending Home Sales Index August 2018 to August 2019
  • Pending sales represent homes that have a signed contract to purchase on them but have yet to close. They tend to lead existing-home sales data by 1 to 2 months. 
  • From last month, all four regions showed increases in contract signings. The West region had the biggest gain of 3.1 %. The Northeast and the South both had an increase of 1.4%. The Midwest had the smallest growth of 0.6 %.
  • All four regions showed gains from a year ago. The West had the biggest increase in sales of 8.0% followed by the South with an increase of 1.8%. The Northeast had a gain of 0.7% while the Midwest had the smallest gain of 0.2%.
  • The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 107.3. August’s increase brings the pending index back above the 100-level mark for the eighth consecutive month. The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark of pending sales and is consistent with a healthy market and existing home sales above the 5 million mark.
Bar chart: August U.S. and Regional Pending Sales, 2018 and 2019

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