Pending home sales fell 1.5% in April compared with March to a score of 104.3 on the National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index.
That’s a drop of 2.0% compared with April 2018.
Regionally, contract signings fell 2.5% in the South, 1.8% in the Northeast and 1.8% in the West, compared with March, but were up 1.3% in the Midwest, according to the report.
The dip in pending home sales comes despite low mortgage interest rates, low unemployment, rising wages and moderating home prices.
”Though the latest monthly figure shows a mild decline in contract signings, mortgage applications and consumer confidence have been steadily rising,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, in a statement. “It’s inevitable for sales to turn higher in a few months.”
As Yun explains, ”Home price appreciation has been the strongest on the lower-end as inventory conditions have been consistently tight on homes priced under $250,000. Price conditions are soft on the upper-end, especially in high tax states like Connecticut, New York and Illinois.”
The supply of inventory for homes priced under $250,000 stood at 3.3 months in April, and homes priced $1 million and above recorded an inventory of 8.9 months in April, according to NAR’s data.
Inventory continued to increase in April. Markets that saw the largest increases in active listings included San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.; Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash.; and Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.
“We are seeing migration to more affordable regions, particularly in the South, where there has been recent job growth and homes are more affordable,” Yun says.