Pending home sales climbed a modest 0.1% month-over-month, and were down 9.1% year-over-year in January.
This missed expectations for a 1.8% mum rise, but was better than expectations for a 10.8% YoY fall.
December’s data was revised up to show a 5.8% decline, compared to an initial reading of an 8.7% fall.
“Ongoing disruptive weather patterns in much of the U.S. inhibited home shopping,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said in a press release. “Limited inventory also is playing a role, especially in the West, while credit remains tight and affordability isn’t as favourable as it was a year ago.”
Here’s a look at the regional breakdown:
- In the Northeast the pending home sales index (PHSI) was up 2.3% on the month, but was down 5.3% from a year ago.
- In the Midwest, the index is down 2.5% on the month and 9.3% on the year.
- In the South, the index is up 3.5% on the month and down 5.5% on the year.
- In the West, the index is down 4.8% on the month and down 17.5% on the year.
While other housing data has been distorted by the severe winter, new home sales surprised in January.
The index is considered to be a leading indicator for future existing home sales. The Commerce Department expects that 80% of signings will become existing home sales transactions within two months.
Here’s a look at the trajectory of pending home sales:
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