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Financial News: U.S. Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Pull Back Off

U.S. Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Pull Back Off Record High In September

10/29/2020 - 10:29:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Pending home sales unexpectedly pulled back off a record high in the month of September, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Thursday.

NAR said its pending home sales index slumped by 2.2 percent to 130.0 in September after spiking by 8.8 percent to 132.9 in August. The drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected pending home sales to jump by another 3.4 percent.

Despite the unexpected monthly decrease, pending home sales in September were up by 20.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

"The demand for home buying remains super strong, even with a slight monthly pullback in September, and we're still likely to end the year with more homes sold overall in 2020 than in 2019," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

He added, "With persistent low mortgage rates and some degree of a continuing jobs recovery, more contract signings are expected in the near future."

The unexpected drop in pending home sales came as three of four regional indices recorded decreases in contract activity on a month-over-month basis in September.

Pending home sales fell by 3.2 percent in the Midwest, 3.0 percent in the South and 2.6 percent in the West, while pending home sales in the Northeast rose by 2.0 percent.

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