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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Decline
by Tom Moeller  November 26, 2014

Pending sales of single-family homes fell 1.1% last month (+2.2% y/y) following a little-revised 0.6% gain during September, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Home sales in the Northeast, sales improved 0.5% (3.4% y/y) following a 1.2% rise. That rise was offset by a 3.2% decline (+4.1% y/y) in the West.  In the South, sales fell 1.0% (+3.9% y/y). Sales in the Midwest slipped 0.6% (-3.0% y/y), down for the fifth straight month.

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) Oct Sep Aug Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Total -1.1 0.6 -1.0 2.2 4.5 11.3 1.3
Northeast 0.5 1.2 -3.0 3.4 6.1 16.6 -4.0
Midwest -0.6 -1.2 -2.1 -3.0 10.4 17.7 2.2
South -1.0 2.2 -1.5 3.9 5.4 12.7 1.4
West -3.2 -0.8 2.6 4.1 -3.6 1.2 3.4
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