NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that January’s pending home sales pace declined 5.7% last month and fell 9.5% from a year ago.
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 one to two months.
All of the four regions showed declines from a year ago. The Northeast had the largest dip at 16.7% followed by the West with a drop in contract signings of 9.7%. The South fell 8.7% followed by the Midwest with the smallest decline (5.9%).
From last month, three of the four regions showed reductions in contract signings. The West region had the only gain (1.5%). The Northeast region had the largest dip at 12.1%, followed by the South with a decrease of 6.3%. The Midwest had the smallest decline at 5.9%.
The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 109.5.
January’s contract signings bring the pending index above the 100-level mark for the 20th consecutive month.
The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with existing-home sales above the 5 million mark.