Pending home sales down in December, but still up year over year

by Ryan Smith30 Jan 2015
Pending home sales stalled in December despite the lowest interest rates of 2014, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

All major regions experienced declines in pending home sales in December, but pending sales nationally still remained above year-over-year levels for the fourth consecutive month, according to the NAR.

The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 3.7% to 100.7 in December from a downwardly revised November figure of 104.6. That’s still 6.1% above December 2013, however. THat’s the highest year-over-year gain since June 2013.

December’s month-over-month decline was likely spurred by a slight uptick in prices, along with a shrinking number of available homes.

“Total inventory fell in December for the first time in 16 months, resulting in fewer choices for buyers and a modest uptick in price growth in markets throughout the country,” he said. “With interest rates at lows not seen since early 2013, the strength in existing-sales in upcoming months will largely depend on the willingness of current homeowners to realize their equity gains from the past couple years and trade up.”

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