Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

July 2020 Pending Home Sales

NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that July’s pending home sales pace increased 5.9% last month and rose 15.5% from a year ago. This would be the third consecutive month of gains as well as the second year-over-year incline since the virus’s impact on the housing market.

Bar chart: Pending Home Sales Index July 2019 through July 2020

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.

All four regions showed double inclines from a year ago. The Northeast had the biggest gain in contract signings of 20.6% followed by the Midwest with an increase of 15.4%. The South had a gain of 14.9% followed by the West which the smallest incline of 13.2%.

Bar chart: US and Regional Pending Sales July 2020 and July 2019

From last month, all four regions showed gains in contract signings. The Northeast had the most significant increase of 25.2%. The West had an incline of 6.8% followed by the Midwest with an increase of 3.3%. The South had the smallest gain in contract signings of 0.9%.

The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 122.1.

July’s incline brings the pending index above the 100-level mark for the second consecutive month since February 2020.

Line graph: Pending Home Sales Index January 2019 through July 2020

The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with a healthy market and existing-home sales above the 5 million mark.

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