Pending home sales increase 4.6 percent in January
Pending home sales saw an encouraging increase in January, with all four regions seeing upticks in sales activity.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 4.6 percent to 103.2 in January, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, year-over-year contract signings declined by 2.3 percent compared to January 2018, marking the 13th consecutive month of annual declines.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said an increase in pending home sales was expected. He added that lower interest rates are also enticing more homebuyers to jump back into the market.
“A change in Federal Reserve policy and the reopening of the government were very beneficial to the market,” Yun said. “Homebuyers are now returning and taking advantage of lower interest rates, while a boost in inventory is also providing more choices for consumers.”
The average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 4.46 percent in January from 4.64 in December, according to Freddie Mac.
Regionally, the South experienced the greatest increase in pending home sales, which increased by 8.9 percent to an index of 119.8. The Midwest was next with an increase of 2.8 percent to an index of 100.2. The Northeast followed with a 1.6 percent increase to 94.0 and the West increased slightly by 0.3 percent to an index of 87.3.