U.S. Pending Home Sales Hold Steady in April
- Sales fall sharply y/y.
- Monthly changes are mixed amongst regions.
The Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) was unchanged during April (-20.3% y/y) at 78.9 following an unrevised 5.2% March decline. The index stood 38.4% below its August 2020 high of 128.0.
In the West, sales improved 4.7% in April (-26.0% y/y) after falling in both of the prior two months. Sales in the Midwest rose 3.6% last month (-21.4% y/y) after a 10.7% March decline. Edging higher, home sales in the South improved 0.1% (-16.7% y/y) in April, the same as in March. In the Northeast, sales fell 11.3% (-21.8% y/y) last month following an 8.1% March decline.
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.
Tom MoellerAuthorMore in Author Profile »
Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio. Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984. He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C. In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists. Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.