NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that January’s pending home sales pace was down 4.7 percent last month and down 3.8 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.
All four regions showed declines from a year ago. The Northeast had the biggest drop in sales of 12.1 percent. The Midwest had a drop of 4.1 percent. The West declined 2.5 percent followed by the South that had a dip of 1.1 percent.
From last month, all four regions showed declines in sales. The West had a decline of 1.2 percent followed by the South with the dip of 3.9 percent. The Midwest had a drop of 6.6 percent followed by the Northeast with the biggest decline of 9.0 percent.
The U.S. pending home sales index level for the month was 104.6. December’s data was revised down slightly to 109.8.
In spite of the decline, this is the pending index’s 45th 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.