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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Improve
by Tom Moeller  July 31, 2017

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending home sales increased 1.5% (0.5% y/y) during June to an index level of 110.2 following declines in four of the prior five months. It was the highest in three months.

Pending sales across regions were mixed m/m. The index for the West increased 2.9% to the highest level in six months. For the South, the index rebounded 2.1% to the highest level since February. The index in the Northeast gained 0.7% following little change in May. The index for the Midwest eased 0.5% to the lowest level since January.

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.

Pending Home Sales (SA, 2001=100) Jun May Apr Jun Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Total 110.2 108.6 109.4 0.5 109.8 108.8 101.2
Northeast 98.0 97.3 97.2 2.9 96.3 90.7 83.9
Midwest 104.0 104.5 104.5 -3.4 107.3 107.1 100.3
South 126.0 123.4 124.9 2.6 122.8 123.0 115.5
West 101.5 98.6 99.9 -1.1 102.5 102.4 93.1
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