Pending home sales decline in September

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 4.6% to 84.5 in September from 88.6 in August but is 6.4% higher than September 2010 when it stood at 79.4, according to the National Association of Realtors. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

“A combination of weak consumer confidence and continuing tight lending criteria held back home buyers, even though the private sector added nearly 2 million net new jobs in the past 12 months,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. 

The PHSI in the Northeast declined 4.7% to 60.6 in September but is 4% above a year ago. In the Midwest, the index dropped 6.2% to 71.5 in September but is 12.3% higher than September 2010. Pending home sales in the South fell 5.5% in September to 91.6 but are 5% above a year ago. In the West, the index declined 2.1% to 105.8 in September but is 5.6% higher than September 2010.

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