Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

May 2020 Pending Home Sales

NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that May’s pending home sales pace rose 44.3% last month and fell 5.1% from a year ago. Even with the declines, pending sales bounced back from the prior two months.

Bar graph: Pending Home Sales Index May 2019 to May 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 three regions showed declines from a year ago, while the South index rose 1.9%. The Northeast had the biggest decline in contract signings of 33.2% followed by the West with a drip of 2.5%. The Midwest had the smallest decline of 1.4%.

From last month, all four regions showed double-digit gains in contract signings. The West had the biggest increase of 56.2% followed by the Northeast with an incline of 44.4%. The South rose 43.3% followed by the Midwest with the smallest gain in signings of 37.2%.

The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 99.6.

Bar graph: May US and Regional Pending Sales in 2020 and 2019

May’s decline brings the pending index below the 100-level mark for the third 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.


Comment Policy

The opinions expressed in reader comments sections on this website are those of the reader and not NAR or REALTOR® Magazine.

About Economists' Outlook

Visit this blog daily to see what NAR experts are saying about the economy, the housing market, and other factors that will impact your business.

Housing Minute

Housing Minute is a monthly video series highlighting the latest housing data from the National Association of REALTORS® in a minute or less.