Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Pending Home Sales Rise Modestly in September 2023

NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that September's pending home sales pace increased 1.1% from last month but fell 11% from a year ago.

Bar graph: Pending Home Sales Index, September 2022 to September 2023

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 West had the largest dip of 12.9% followed by the Northeast with a drop in contract signings of 12.7%. The South fell by 10.7%, followed by the Midwest with the smallest decline of 9.2%.

Bar graph: U.S. and Regional Pending Sales, September 2023 and 2022

From last month, three regions showed increases in contract signings. The Midwest region had the biggest gain in contracts at 4.1%, followed by the Northeast, which rose modestly by 0.8%. The South increased by 0.7%, and the West region had the only decline of 1.8%.

The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month of September was 72.6. August's pending sales figures were revised to 71.8.

September's contract signings bring the pending index below the 100-level mark for the eighteenth consecutive month.

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

Line graph: U.S. and Regional Pending Home Sales Index, January 2019 to September 2023