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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Decline
by Tom Moeller  May 31, 2017

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending home sales fell 1.3% during April (-3.3% y/y) to an index level of 109.8 following a 0.9% March slip. The index is reported on a 2001=100 basis.

Pending sales figure continued to exhibit mixed performance across regions. The index in the Midwest fell 4.7% following a 1.2% decline. For the South, the index fell 2.7%, the first monthly decline since November. The index in the Northeast declined 1.7% after a 3.1% March fall. To the upside was the index for the West. It rose 5.8% to the highest level since December.

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.

Navigating the Different Signals from Inflation and Unemployment is the title of yesterday's speech by Fed Governor Lael Brainard and it can be found here.

Pending Home Sales (SA) Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total 109.8 111.3 112.3 -3.3 109.8 108.8 101.2
Northeast 97.2 98.9 102.1 -0.6 96.3 90.7 83.9
Midwest 104.4 109.6 110.9 -6.1 107.3 107.1 100.3
South 125.9 129.4 127.9 -2.3 122.8 123.0 115.5
West 100.0 94.5 97.3 -4.2 102.5 102.4 93.1
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