NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that December’s pending home sales pace was up 0.5 percent last month and up 0.5 percent from a year ago.
Pending sales represent homes that have a signed contract to purchase on them but have yet to close. They tend to lead existing-home sales data by 1 to 2 months.
Two of the four regions showed inclines from a year ago. The South had the biggest increase of 4.0 percent. The Midwest had the smallest gain of 0.3 percent. The Northeast declined 2.7 percent followed by the West that had a drop of 3.1 percent.
From last month, two of the four regions showed inclines in sales. The Midwest had a decline of 0.3 percent followed by the Northeast with the biggest dip of 5.1 percent. The West had a gain of 1.5 percent followed by the South with the biggest increase of 2.6 percent.
The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 110.1 October’s data was revised down slightly to 109.6.
In spite of the decline, this is the pending index’s 44th consecutive month over the 100 level.
The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with a healthy market and existing home sales above the 5 million mark.