Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

October 2019 Pending Home Sales

NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that October’s pending home sales pace was down 1.7% last month but rose 4.4% from a year ago.

Bar chart: Pending Home Sales Index September 2018 to September 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.

All four regions showed gains from a year ago. The West had the biggest increase in sales of 7.5% followed by the South with an increase of 5.1%. The Northeast had a gain of 3.0% while the Midwest had the smallest increase of 1.8%.

From last month, three of the four regions showed declines in contract signings. The Northeast region had the only gain of 1.9%. The West had the biggest decline of 3.4% followed by the Midwest with a drop of 2.7%. The South had the smallest fall in signings of 1.7%.

 The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 106.7.

Bar chart: October US & Regional Pending Sales in 2018 and 2019

October’s increase brings the pending index back above the 100 level mark for the tenth 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.