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Pending Home Sales Sink Again

Phil Hall
Sep 29, 2016
Mortgage rates continue to remain at historic lows, but Freddie Mac is insisting that this situation is helping to stabilize the housing market

For the third time in four months, the level of pending home sales has been in a slump.

The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) dropped by 2.4 percent to 108.5 in August from a downwardly revised 111.2 in July; on a year-over-year measurement, it is slightly below 108.7 level from August 2015. Last month marked the second lowest PHSI reading since January’s 105.4.

On a regional basis, the PHSI in the Northeast rose 1.3 percent to 98.1 in August, but there were declines in the Midwest (down 0.9 percent to 104.7), the South (down 3.2 percent to 119.8) and the West (down 5.3 percent to 102.8).

“Contract activity slackened throughout the country in August except for in the Northeast, where higher inventory totals are giving home shoppers greater options and better success signing a contract,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “In most other areas, an increased number of prospective buyers appear to be either wavering at the steeper home prices pushed up by inventory shortages or disheartened by the competition for the miniscule number of affordable listings.”

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