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January pending home sales were up 4.5 per cent month-over-month (mum), above expectations for a 1.9 per cent rise.Pending home sales were up 10.4 per cent on a year-over-year basis, beating expectations for an 8.2 per cent rise.
Last month’s number was also revised up to reflect a 1.9 per cent decline, from the initial reading of a 4.3 per cent decline.
A regional breakdown shows that in the Northeast the pending home sales index (PHSI) were up 8.2 per cent on the month, in the Midwest it was up 4.5 per cent on the month, in the South it was up 5.9 per cent, and in the West it was up a marginal 0.1 per cent, and down 1.5 per cent from a year ago.
“favourable affordability conditions and job growth have unleashed a pent-up demand,” said NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun in a press release. “Most areas are drawing down housing inventory, which has shifted the supply/demand balance to sellers in much of the country. It’s also why we’re experiencing the strongest price growth in more than seven years.”
Today’s release showed that existing home supply is tight, especially in the West which is why home price increases in the region are increasing the most, according to Yun. He said he now expects 5 million home sales in 2013, down from 5.1 million.