Pending Home Sales Rose 5.2% in January
Washington, DC, February 27, 2020-The Pending Home Sales Index grew 5.2% to 108.8 in January, according to the National Association of Realtors. Year-over-year contract signings increased 5.7%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.
“This month’s solid activity-the second-highest monthly figure in over two years-is due to the good economic backdrop and exceptionally low mortgage rates,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
“We are still lacking in inventory,” he said, noting December’s and January’s combined supply was at the lowest level since 1999. “Inventory availability will be the key to consistent future gains.”
Pointing to data from active listings at realtor.com, Yun says the year-over-year increases show a strong desire for homeownership. Markets drawing some of the most significant buyer attention include Fort Wayne, Indiana; San Francisco, California; Sacramento, California; Lafayette, Indiana; and San Jose, California.
“With housing starts hovering at 1.6 million in December and January, along with the favorable mortgage rates, among other factors, 2020 has so far presented a very positive sales climate,” Yun said. “Moreover, the latest stock market correction could provide exceptional, even lower mortgage rates for a few weeks, and that would help bring about a noticeable upturn in the coming months.”