NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that August’s pending home sales pace weakened 2.0% last month and fell 24.2% from a year ago.
Pending sales represent homes with a signed contract to purchase but have yet to close. They tend to lead existing-home sales data by one to two months.
All four regions showed double-digit declines from a year ago. The West had the most significant dip of 31.3%, followed by the South with a drop in contract signings of 24.2%. The Midwest fell 21.1%, followed by the Northeast with the smallest decline of 19.0%.
From last month, three of the four regions showed reductions in contract signings. The West region had the only gain of 1.4%. The Midwest had the most significant dip of 5.2%, followed by the Northeast, with a decrease of 3.4%. The South had the smallest decline of 0.9%.
The U.S. pending home sales index level for August was 88.4.
August’s contract signings bring the pending index below the 100-level mark for the fifth consecutive month.
The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with existing home sales above the 5 million mark.