November Pending Home Sales Hit Lowest Level Since 2014

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Pending home sales fell again in November, decreasing 0.7% to a score of 101.4 on the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index.

That’s down from a score of 102.1 in October to reach the lowest level since 2014.

Regionally, contract signings increased 2.8% in the West and 2.7% in the Northeast, compared with October, but fell 2.3% in the Midwest and 2.7% in the South.

Year-over-year, pending home sales dropped 7.7%, making November the 11th straight month of annual decreases.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, says although the “latest decline in contract signings implies more short-term pullback in the housing sector,” the decrease in mortgage rates in December may have brought a boost for that month.

“November’s figures do not include the impact of recent favorable conditions of mortgage rates,” Yun says in a statement.

Although the market clearly has slowed, Yun predicts solid growth potential for the long-term.

“Home sales look to close out 2018 at 5.3 million, which would be similar to [the pace] experienced in 2000,” he says. “But given the 17 million more jobs now compared to the turn of the century, home sales are clearly underperforming today. That also means there is steady longer-term growth potential.”

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