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WASHINGTON – May 31, 2019 – Pending home sales declined in April, a modest change from the growth seen a month before, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Only one of the four major regions – the Midwest – experienced growth, while the remaining three regions reported a drop in their respective contract activity.
The Pending Home Sales Index, www.nar.realtor/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 1.5% to 104.3 in April, down from 105.9 in March. Year-over-year contract signings declined 2.0%, making this the 16th straight month of annual decreases.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the sales dip has yet to account for some of the more favorable trends toward homeownership, such as lower mortgage rates. "Though the latest monthly figure shows a mild decline in contract signings, mortgage applications and consumer confidence have been steadily rising,” he said. “It’s inevitable for sales to turn higher in a few months."
"Home price appreciation has been the strongest on the lower-end as inventory conditions have been consistently tight on homes priced under $250,000. Price conditions are soft on the upper-end, especially in high tax states like Connecticut, New York and Illinois." The supply of inventory for homes priced under $250,000 stood at 3.3 months in April, and homes priced $1 million and above recorded an inventory of 8.9 months in April.
Citing active listings from data at realtor.com®, Yun says the year-over-year increases could be a sign of a rise in inventory. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash., and Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn., saw the largest increase in active listings in April compared to a year ago.
"We are seeing migration to more affordable regions, particularly in the South, where there has been recent job growth and homes are more affordable," Yun said.
The PHSI in the Northeast declined 1.8% to 88.9 in April and is now 2.1% below a year ago. In the Midwest, the index grew 1.3% to 96.8 in April, 2.4% lower than April 2018.
Pending home sales in the South fell 2.5% to an index of 124.0 in April, which is 1.8% lower than last April. The index in the West dropped 1.8% in April to 93.5 and fell only 1.5% below a year ago.
Toby Tobin: REALTOR®, SRES®
I'm a Florida licensed REALTOR®, SRES®, affiliated with Grand Living Realty in Palm Coast, Fla. As a real estate consultant and journalist, I have years of experience and a treasure trove of relevant data. I help developers, builders, homebuyers, and sellers achieve improved outcomes with reduced stress, knowing that their real estate decisions are sound and fact-based.
Call me at (386) 931-7124 or email me at Toby@GoToby.com.
Listen to my radio show, Real Estate Matters, every Saturday morning right after the 11:00 A.M. news break on WNZF News Radio 1550 AM or 94.9 FM. Download the Flagler Radio App from the App Store so you can hear Real Estate Matters anywhere in the world.