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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Fall Again
by Tom Moeller  June 28, 2017

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending home sales fell 0.8% during May to an index level of 108.5 following a 1.7% April fall, revised from -1.3%. The index is reported on a 2001=100 basis.

Pending sales declined across most regions. The index for the West declined 1.3% after a 5.7% rise. For the South, the index fell 1.2% after a 3.5% decline. The index in the Northeast was off 0.8%, down for the third straight month. Remaining unchanged was the index for the Midwest after two months of decline.

The pending home sales index measures home sales when the sales contract is signed, analogous to the new home sales report. In contrast, existing home sales are recorded when the sale is closed. In developing the pending home sales index, the NAR found that the level of monthly sales contract activity parallels the level of closed existing home sales in the following two months. The series dates back to 2001, and the data are available in Haver's PREALTOR database.

Pending Home Sales (SA, 2001=100) May Apr Mar May Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Total 108.5 109.4 111.3 -1.7 109.8 108.8 101.2
Northeast 96.4 97.2 98.9 3.1 96.3 90.7 83.9
Midwest 104.5 104.5 109.6 -2.8 107.3 107.1 100.3
South 123.4 124.9 129.4 -1.4 122.8 123.0 115.5
West 98.6 99.9 94.5 -4.5 102.5 102.4 93.1
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