Pending home sales down for eighth month in a row

by Ryan Smith28 Mar 2014
Pending home sales fell in February for the eighth straight month, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors.

The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index dropped 0.8% to 93.9 from a downwardly revised January reading of 94.7. That’s 10.5% below February of last year, and the lowest reading since October of 2011.

However, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the slowdown may be ending.

“Contract signings for the past three months have been little changed, implying the market appears to be stabilizing,” he said. “Moreover, buyer traffic information from our monthly realtor survey shows a modest turnaround, and some weather delayed transactions should close in the spring.”

The PHSI in the Northeast dropped 2.4% in February to 77.1, 7.4% below its reading 12 months ago. Pending home sales also fell in the South, with the PHSI dropping 4% to a reading of 106.3. Sales rose 2.8% in the Midwest and 2.3% in the West, but those gains weren’t enough to offset the drops in the other regions.

Total existing home sales are projected to be 5 million this year, slightly below last year’s total of just under 5.1 million. Housing starts, meanwhile, are projected to spike 19% in 2014, reaching about 1.1 million, according to the NAR.
 

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