Pending Home Sales Post Biggest Drop in Five Months as Mortgage Rates Rise –MarketWatch


Pending home sales fell 4.9% in January from the previous month, according to the monthly index released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

Pending home sales reflect transactions where the contract has been signed for an existing-home sale, but the sale has not yet closed. Economists view it as an indicator of the direction of existing-home sales in subsequent months. 

The drop in pending home sales was the largest since August 2023, when they fell 5%.

Transactions were down 8.8% from last year.

"The job market is solid, and the country's total wealth reached a record high due to stock market and home price gains," Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR, said in a statement.

While "this combination of economic conditions is favorable for home buying," he added, "consumers are showing extra sensitivity to changes in mortgage rates in the current cycle, and that's impacting home sales."

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