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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Backpedal But Remain Firm
by Tom Moeller  July 28, 2014

Pending sales of single-family homes fell 1.1% (-7.2% y/y) during June, according the National Association of Realtors (NAR), following a little-revised 6.0% May increase. The June figure compared to consensus expectations for a 0.3% increase according to ECONODAY and remained 7.3% lower than the high reached twelve months ago.

Home sales were mixed across the country last month. In the Northeast, sales declined 2.9% (-3.2% y/y) while in the South they fell 2.4% (-4.3% y/y). In the Midwest, home buying improved 1.1% but remained off 5.5% y/y. In the West, sales ticked 0.2% higher (-16.7% y/y).

The pending home sales figures are analogous to the new home sales data from the Commerce Department. They measure home sales when the sales contract is signed, not at the time the sale is closed. In developing the model for the index, the NAR demonstrated 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) Jun May Apr Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Total -1.1 6.0 0.5 -7.3 4.5 11.3 1.3
Northeast -2.9 8.8 0.6 -3.2 6.1 16.6 -4.0
Midwest 1.1 6.3 5.0 -5.5 10.4 17.7 2.2
South -2.4 4.0 -0.4 -4.3 5.4 12.7 1.4
West 0.2 7.7 -2.5 -16.7 -3.6 1.2 3.4
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