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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Decline
by Tom Moeller  September 29, 2014

Pending sales of single-family home sales declined 1.0% last month (-2.2% y/y) following a 3.2% July increase, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales were nearly at the highest level since last August.

Home sales declined through most of the country last month. In the Northeast sales fell 3.0% (+1.6% y/y) after a 6.2% jump. In the Midwest sales were off 2.1% (-7.6% y/y), down for the third straight month. In the South sales declined 1.4%, unchanged y/y, following a 3.9% rise. In the West, sales rose 2.6% (-2.6% y/y) to the highest level in twelve months.

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) Aug Jul Jun Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Total -1.0 3.2 -1.3 -2.2 4.5 11.3 1.3
Northeast -3.0 6.2 -2.7 1.6 6.1 16.6 -4.0
Midwest -2.1 -0.4 -0.4 -7.6 10.4 17.7 2.2
South -1.4 3.9 -2.1 0.0 5.4 12.7 1.4
West 2.6 4.0 0.2 -2.6 -3.6 1.2 3.4
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