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NAR: Pending Home Sales Decreased 3.8% in December

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Slide 3.8% in December
Pending home sales fell in December, denoting two straight months of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All four major U.S. regions posted both month-over-month and year-over-year drops in contract activity.

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, fell 3.8% to 117.7 in December. Year-over-year, transactions decreased 6.9%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.

Month-over-month, the Northeast PHSI fell 1.2% to 98.2 in December, a 10.5% decline from a year ago. In the Midwest, the index dropped 3.7% to 112.8 last month, down 1.2% from December 2020.

Pending home sales transactions in the South slid 1.8% to an index of 145.2 in December, down 3.9% from December 2020. The index in the West decreased 10.0% in December to 95.0, down 16.2% from a year prior.
emphasis addedThis was well below expectations of a 0.3% increase for this index. Note: Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this would usually be for closed sales in January and February.

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