Pending Home Sales Miss Expectation

Pending home sales

Pending home sales climbed 0.4% month-over-month in April. This missed expectations for a 1% rise.

On the year, pending home sales were down 9.4% worse than expectations for an 8.7% fall.

March’s number was revised down to show a 7.5% YoY fall, compared to an initial read of a 7.4% fall.

“Higher inventory levels are giving buyers more choices, and a slight decline in mortgage interest rates this spring is raising prospective home buyers’ confidence,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said in a press release. “An uptrend in closed sales is expected, although some months will encounter a modest setback.”

Here’s a look at the regional breakdown:

  • In the Northeast, the pending home sales index (PHSI) climbed 0.6% on the month, but is down 12% from a year ago.
  • In the Midwest, the index was up 5% on the month, but down 6.9% from a year ago.
  • In the South, the index was down 0.6% on the month and down 6.4% on the year.
  • In the West, the index was down 2.9% on the month and 15% on the year.

“We won’t be extrapolating an April increase into a forecast of further sustained gains in sales,” Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics wrote in a note ahead of the data release.

“Housing market activity will not return anytime soon to its autumn level, still less its spring 2013 peaks, because the main driver of the drop in sales has been the plunge in affordability, not the weather.”

Pending home climbed for the second consecutive month after eight straight months of declines. Pending home sales are considered a leading indicator for existing home sales.