Pending home sales in December were up by 0.5 percent on both a month-over-month and year-over-year measurement, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This marked the third consecutive month of pending home sales increases.
NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) registered at 110.1 in December, slightly higher than the upwardly revised 109.6 in November. On a regional basis, the PHSI in the Northeast fell 5.1 percent to 93.9 in December while the Midwest the index decreased 0.3 percent to 105.0. However, the PHSI in the South grew 2.6 percent to an index of 126.9 while the index in the West rose 1.5 percent in December to 101.7.
“Another month of modest increases in contract activity is evidence that the housing market has a small trace of momentum at the start of 2018,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Jobs are plentiful, wages are finally climbing and the prospect of higher mortgage rates are perhaps encouraging more aspiring buyers to begin their search now. Sadly, these positive indicators may not lead to a stronger sales pace. Buyers throughout the country continue to be hamstrung by record low supply levels that are pushing up prices—especially at the lower end of the market.”