Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Pending Home Sales Fall 2.3% in September 2021

NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that September’s pending home sales pace declined 2.3% last month and fell 8.0% from a year ago.

Bar chart: Pending Home Sales Index, September 2020 to September 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.

All four regions showed declines from a year ago. The Northeast had the largest dip of 18.5% followed by West with a drop in contract signings of 7.2%. The South and the Midwest both shared a decrease of 5.8%.

Bar chart: U.S. and Regional Pending Sales Index, September 2021 and September 2020

From last month, all four regions showed declines in contract signings. The Midwest region had the largest dip of 3.5% followed by the Northeast with a decline of 3.2%. The South had a drop of 1.8% followed by the West with the smallest decline of 1.4%.

The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 116.7.

September’s contract signings bring the pending index above the 100-level mark for the 17-consecutive month.

Line graph: U.S. and Regional Pending Home Sales Index, February 2019 to September 2021

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