While analysts continue to argue about whether or not the dip in housing sales in the first two months of 2014 is weather-related or not, it might be helpful to step back and take a look at the last few years to gain some perspective about where the market may be heading.
Pending Home Sales Down in January
Pending home sales dropped in January and more declines are expected, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Pending home sales dropped in January and more declines are expected, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, an indicator based on contracts signed, fell 7.6 % in January to 90.4 from an upwardly revised 97.8 in December, but remains 12.3 % higher than January 2009 when it was 80.5.
According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, weather is the likely impact of the declining housing sales data. Some housing industry analysts, however, have also attributed the drop to the lack of impact the extension of the tax credit is having on swaying potential buyers. Details of the sales drop are as follows:
- The PHSI in the Northeast fell 8.7% to 71.3 in January but is 20.5 % higher than January 2009.
- In the Midwest the index dropped 8.9 % to 81.2 but is 11.8 % above a year ago.
- Pending home sales in the South slipped 2.1 % to an index of 98.1, but the index is 18.0 % higher than January 2009.
- In the West the index dropped 13.2 % to 102.9 but is 1.4 % above a year ago.
NAR expects a surge of existing-home sales in April, May and June. Because inventory has been trending downward, sufficient job creation during the second half of the year may lead housing to becoming self-sustaining with stable to modestly rising home prices.
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