- Pending home sales improved in July, up 0.9% from June.
- Month over month, contract signings increased in the South and West but decreased in the Northeast and Midwest.
- Pending home sales fell in all four U.S. regions compared to one year ago.
WASHINGTON (August 30, 2023) – Pending home sales increased 0.9% in July – rising for the second consecutive month – according to the National Association of REALTORS®. The Northeast and Midwest posted monthly losses, while sales in the South and West grew. All four U.S. regions saw year-over-year declines in transactions.
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* – a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings – rose 0.9% to 77.6 in July. Year over year, pending transactions fell by 14.0%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.
"The small gain in contract signings shows the potential for further increases in light of the fact that many people have lost out on multiple home buying offers," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Jobs are being added and, thereby, enlarging the pool of prospective home buyers. However, rising mortgage rates and limited inventory have temporarily hindered the possibility of buying for many."
Pending Home Sales Regional Breakdown
The Northeast PHSI shrank 5.8% from last month to 63.2, a decrease of 20.2% from July 2022. The Midwest index fell 0.4% to 77.5 in July, down 16.0% from one year ago.
The South PHSI lifted 2.0% to 95.3 in July, declining 10.9% from the prior year. The West index improved 6.2% in July to 61.3, dropping 12.8% from July 2022.
"Interestingly, the West region experienced a meaningful price decline in the past year and buyers are quickly returning as a result," Yun added.
About the National Association of REALTORS®
The National Association of REALTORS® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
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*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.
Pending contracts are good early indicators of upcoming sales closings. However, the amount of time between pending contracts and completed sales is not identical for all home sales. Variations in the length of the process from pending contract to closed sale can be caused by issues such as buyer difficulties with obtaining mortgage financing, home inspection problems, or appraisal issues.
The index is based on a sample that covers about 40% of multiple listing service data each month. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.
An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.
NOTE: Existing-Home Sales for August will be reported on September 21. The next Pending Home Sales Index will be on September 28. All release times are 10 a.m. Eastern. View the NAR Statistical News Release Schedule.