Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Pending Home Sales Climb 7.5% in October 2021

NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that October's pending home sales pace increased 7.5% last month but fell 1.4% from a year ago.

Bar graph: Pending Home Sales Index, October 2020 to October 2021

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.

Two of the four regions showed declines from a year ago. The Northeast had the largest dip of 10.0% followed by West with a drop in contract signings of 6.2%. The Midwest had an incline of 5.1% followed by the South with the smallest gain of 0.6%.

Bar graph: October U.S. and Regional Pending Sales, 2021 and 2020

From last month, all four regions showed inclines in contract signings. The Midwest region had the largest gain of 11.8% followed by the South with an increase of 8.0%. The Northeast rose 6.9% followed by the West with the smallest incline of 2.1%.

The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 125.2.

October's contract signings bring the pending index above the 100-level mark for the 18th consecutive month.

Line graph: Pending Home Sales Index, January 2019 to October 2021

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