Pending Home Sales Continue Slide in September
- Sept PHS -5.6 vs +0.1 forecast
- Sept PHS -1.2 pct year over year
- Market Reaction: Moderately positive for bond markets
Pending home sales declined for the fourth consecutive month in September, as higher mortgage interest rates and higher home prices curbed buying power, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 5.6 percent to 101.6 in September from a downwardly revised 107.6 in August, and is 1.2 percent below September 2012 when it was 102.8. The index is at the lowest level since December 2012 when it was 101.3; the data reflect contracts but not closings.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said concerns over the government shutdown also played a role. “Declining housing affordability conditions are likely responsible for the bulk of reduced contract activity,” he said. “In addition, government and contract workers were on the sidelines with growing insecurity over lawmakers’ inability to agree on a budget. A broader hit on consumer confidence from general uncertainty also curbs major expenditures such as home purchases.”