Pending home sales fall below 2016 levels

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

By Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily

Pending home sales had been expected to rise slightly in April after declining 0.8 percent in March. Instead, the National Association of Realtors’® (NAR’s) Pending Home Sale Index (PHSI) slumped for the second straight month, dropping 1.3 percent. The PHSI, based on contracts signed for existing home purchases, fell from 111.3 (revised from 111.4) in March to 109.8.

The April dip put the Index 3.3 percent below its level in April 2016. This was the first year-over-year decline since last December and the largest since the Index fell 7.1 percent in June 2014.

Analysts polled by Econoday had expected sales to rebound from their March loss by 0.5 percent with some looking for a gain of as much as 1.4 percent. The actual results were well below the lowest estimates of -0.5 percent. Econoday noted that “This year’s month-to-month path of existing home sales has been accurately telegraphed by the pending home sales index which tracks initial contract signings. This index fell 0.8 percent in March and was followed by an even more sizable decline in final sales.”

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