From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Retreat in August
After bouncing back in July, pending home sales cooled in August for the third time in four months and to their lowest level since January, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, declined 2.4 percent to 108.5 in August from a downwardly revised 111.2 in July and is now slightly lower (0.2 percent) than August 2015 (108.7). With last month’s decline, the index is now at its second lowest reading this year after January (105.4).
The PHSI in the Northeast rose 1.3 percent to 98.1 in August, and is now 5.9 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 0.9 percent to 104.7 in August, and is now 1.7 percent lower than August 2015.
Pending home sales in the South declined 3.2 percent to an index of 119.8 in August and are now 1.5 percent lower than last August. The index in the West fell 5.3 percent in August to 102.8, and is now 0.6 percent lower than a year ago.
This was well below expectations of a 0.5% increase for this index. Note: Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this would usually be for closed sales in September and October.