Pending Home Sales Receded 4.9% in January

WASHINGTON, Feb. 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Key Highlights

  • Pending home sales decreased 4.9% in January.
  • Month over month, contract signings rose in the Northeast and West but fell in the Midwest and South.
  • Compared to one year ago, pending home sales declined in all U.S. regions.

Pending home sales in January dropped 4.9%, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The Northeast and West posted monthly gains in transactions while the Midwest and South recorded losses. All four U.S. regions registered year-over-year decreases.
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* – a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings – decreased to 74.3 in January. Year over year, pending transactions were down 8.8%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.
“The job market is solid, and the country’s total wealth reached a record high due to stock market and home price gains,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “This combination of economic conditions is favorable for home buying. However, consumers are showing extra sensitivity to changes in mortgage rates in the current cycle, and that’s impacting home sales.”
Pending Home Sales Regional Breakdown
The Northeast PHSI increased 0.8% from last month to 63.6, a decline of 5.5% from January 2023. The Midwest index decreased 7.6% to 73.7 in January, down 11.6% from one year ago.
The South PHSI declined 7.3% to 88.5 in January, falling 9.0% from the prior year. The West index rose 0.5% in January to 61.1, down 7.0% from January 2023.
“Southern states and those in the Rocky Mountain time zone experienced faster job growth compared to the rest of the country,” added Yun. “As a result, long-term housing demand is increasing more significantly in these regions. However, the timing and number of purchases will largely depend on the prevailing mortgage rates and inventory availability.”
About the National Association of Realtors®
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The term Realtor® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

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*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.
Pending contracts are good early indicators of upcoming sales closings. However, the amount of time between pending contracts and completed sales is not identical for all home sales. Variations in the length of the process from pending contract to closed sale can be caused by issues such as buyer difficulties with obtaining mortgage financing, home inspection problems, or appraisal issues.
The index is based on a sample that covers about 40% of multiple listing service data each month. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.
An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.
NOTE: Existing-Home Sales for February will be released March 21. The next Pending Home Sales Index will be released March 28. All release times are 10 a.m. Eastern. View the NAR Statistical News Release Schedule.

Information about NAR is available at This and other news releases are posted in the newsroom at Statistical data in this release, as well as other tables and surveys, are posted in the “Research and Statistics” tab.


Pending Home Sales: January 2024

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