Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Dec 28 2022

U.S. Pending Home Sales Fall for the Sixth Straight Month in November

  • -4.0% m/m (-37.8% y/y) in Nov. vs. -4.7% m/m (-37.1% y/y) in Oct.
  • November PHSI at 73.9, lowest since April 2020.
  • Widespread m/m drops in all the major regions, w/ double-digit y/y falling rates.
  • With mortgage rates declining, home-buying activity will likely rebound and help GDP growth in the near term.

The Pending Home Sales Index fell 4.0% m/m (-37.8% y/y) to 73.9 in November after drops of 4.7% in October (-4.6% initially) and 8.7% in September, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The November reading was the sixth consecutive m/m fall to the lowest index level since April 2020’s 71.6. Pending home sales have fallen 42.3% since their August 2020 high of 128.0.

Pending home sales decreased in all the major regions in the country in November. Sales in the Northeast worsened 7.9% (-34.9% y/y), the sixth straight m/m drop, on top of a 4.3% October decline. Sales in the Midwest fell 6.6% (-31.6% y/y), the sixth m/m fall in seven months, following a 3.1% October rebound. Sales in the South slid 2.3% (-38.5% y/y), the sixth successive m/m slide, after a 6.4% October drop. Sales in the West were down 0.9% (-45.7% y/y), the third consecutive m/m decline, after a 11.3% October decrease.

The pending home sales index measures sales at the time the contract for the purchase of an existing home is signed, similar to the Census Bureau's new home sales data. In contrast, the National Association of Realtors' existing home sales data are recorded when the sale is closed, which is usually a couple of months after the sales contract has been signed. In developing the pending home sales index, the NAR found that the level of monthly sales contract activity leads the level of closed existing home sales by about two months.

The series dates back to 2001 and are available in Haver's PREALTOR database. Weekly mortgage interest rates from the Mortgage Bankers Association can be found in the SURVEYW database.

  • Winnie Tapasanun has been working for Haver Analytics since 2013. She has ~20 years of working in the financial services industry. As Vice President and Economic Analyst at Globicus International, Inc., a New York-based company specializing in macroeconomics and financial markets, Winnie oversaw the company’s business operations, managed financial and economic data, and wrote daily reports on macroeconomics and financial markets. Prior to working at Globicus, she was Investment Promotion Officer at the New York Office of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) where she wrote monthly reports on the U.S. economic outlook, wrote reports on the outlook of key U.S. industries, and assisted investors on doing business and investment in Thailand. Prior to joining the BOI, she was Adjunct Professor teaching International Political Economy/International Relations at the City College of New York. Prior to her teaching experience at the CCNY, Winnie successfully completed internships at the United Nations.   Winnie holds an MA Degree from Long Island University, New York. She also did graduate studies at Columbia University in the City of New York and doctoral requirements at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her areas of specialization are international political economy, macroeconomics, financial markets, political economy, international relations, and business development/business strategy. Her regional specialization includes, but not limited to, Southeast Asia and East Asia.   Winnie is bilingual in English and Thai with competency in French. She loves to travel (~30 countries) to better understand each country’s unique economy, fascinating culture and people as well as the global economy as a whole.

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