Pending home sales decline, could fall further in the future

Real estate data shows that pending home sales decreased in April, which indicates a market slowdown during the typically strong spring buying season.

Real estate data shows that pending home sales decreased in April, which indicates a market slowdown during the typically strong spring buying season.

The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index fell 5.5 percent during the month to 101.1 after posting three consecutive months of increases.

Pending sales rise on annual basis

However, even though the index experienced a slight decline, an expert from the industry group noted that activity is still well above where it has been in recent years.
 
"Housing market activity has clearly broken out at notably higher levels and is on track to see the best performance since 2007," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "All of the major housing market indicators are expected to trend gradually up, but a new federal budget must be passed before the end of the year for the economy to continue to move forward."

Regionally, pending home sales in the Northeast increase nearly 1 percent to a score of 78.9 in April. The report noted that this is nearly 20 percent above where the index was a year earlier. Meanwhile, pending sales in the Midwest edged 0.3 percent lower to a reading of 93, while the future transactions rate in the South fell 6.9 percent to an index of 105.7. In addition, the West experienced a 12 percent decline, but is roughly 5 percent above levels a year ago.

Mortgage activity declines despite low rates

Meanwhile, home sales could trend even lower in the future, as the Mortgage Bankers Association reports that home loan activity fell 1.3 percent during the week ending May 25. This decline was a result of a decrease in purchase requests, as mortgage records indicate that the refinancing share of the report remained unchanged from a week earlier at 76.6 percent.

This decrease in purchase requests occurred even though mortgage rates on the survey fell to new all-time lows. Specifically, it was found that the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan balance dipped to 3.91 percent from 3.93 percent the previous week. In addition, the rate for a 30-year FRM jumbo loan fell to 4.23 percent from 4.25 percent during the same period.



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