May Pending Home Sales Increased 0.7% from April but Remain Down YOY
Washington, DC, June 27, 2022-The Pending Home Sales Index inched up 0.7% to 99.9 in May, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Year-over-year, transactions dropped 13.6%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.
"Despite the small gain in pending sales from the prior month, the housing market is clearly undergoing a transition," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "Contract signings are down sizably from a year ago because of much higher mortgage rates."
According to NAR, at the median single-family home price and with a 10% down payment, the monthly mortgage payment has increased by about $800 since the beginning of the year as mortgage rates have climbed by 2.5 percentage points since January.
"Trying to balance the housing market by choking off demand via higher mortgage rates is damaging to consumers and the economy," Yun added. "The better way to balance the market is through increased supply, which also helps the broader economy."
While the housing market remains unbalanced nationwide with demand far outpacing supply, Yun noted variations in home prices and affordability contributed to the regional differences in pending sales activity in May.
"The largest decline in contract activity was observed in the West region, where homes are the most expensive," he said. "This further indicates the growing need to increase supply to tame home price growth and improve the chances of ownership for potential home buyers."