Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

May 2019 Pending Home Sales

  • NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that May’s pending home sales pace was up 1.1 percent last month but fell modestly at 0.7 percent from a year ago.
  • 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. 
  • Three of the four regions showed declines from a year ago with the South having the only gain of 0.7 percent. The West had the biggest drop in sales of 3.1 percent followed by the Midwest with a decline of 1.2 percent. The Northeast experienced the smallest dip in contract signings of 0.5 percent.
  • From last month, three of the four regions showed increases in contract signings. The West region had the only decline of 1.8 percent. The Midwest had the biggest increase of 3.6 percent followed by the Northeast with a gain of 3.5 percent. The South had the smallest gain of 0.1 percent.
  • The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 105.4.
Chart: May U.S. and Regional Pending Sales
  • May’s increase brings the pending index back above the 100 level mark for the fifth consecutive month.
  • 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.
Chart: Pending Home Sales Index, May 2018 to May 2019


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