Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

September 2019 Pending Home Sales

NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that September’s pending home sales pace was up 1.5% last month and rose 3.9% 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 South had the biggest incline sales of 5.7% followed by the West with an increase of 3.4%. The Midwest had a gain of 2.7% while the Northeast had the smallest incline of 1.3%.

From last month, two of the four regions showed inclines in contract signings. The Midwest region had the biggest gain of 3.1 % followed by the South with an incline of 2.6%. The Northeast had a dip in signings of 1.3% followed by the Northeast with a modest decline of 0.4%.

The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 108.7.

Bar chart: September US and Regional Pending Sales 2019 and 2018

September’s incline brings the pending index back above the 100 level mark for the ninth 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.