Pending home sales fell 0.8% month-over-month in February. This was the eighth consecutive monthly fall.
On the year, pending home sales were down 10.2% on the year.
This missed expectations for a 0.2% MoM rise and a 9% YoY.
January's numbers were revised down to reflect a 0.2% MoM fall, and a 9.3% YoY fall.
This compares to an initial reading of 0.1% month-over-month rise and a 9.1% YoY fall.
"Contract signings for the past three months have been little changed, implying the market appears to be stabilizing,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said in a press release. "Moreover, buyer traffic information from our monthly Realtor survey shows a modest turnaround, and some weather delayed transactions should close in the spring."
"Unfortunately this reading is consistent with the downward trend inmortgage applications, which appear still not to have adjusted fully to the plunge in affordability over the past year," said Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Here's a look at the regional breakdown:
- In the Northeast the pending home sales index (PHSI) fell 2.4% on the month, and was down 7.4% from a year ago.
- In the Midwest, the index climbed 2.8% on the month btu is down 8.5% on the year.
- In the South, the index was down 4.0% on the month and down 9.3% on the year.
- In the West, the index climbed 2.3% on the month and is down 16.5% on the year.
The index is considered to be a leading indicator for future existing home sales."The index suggests February existing home sales dipped to about 4.5M from January's 4.60M, putting activity at its lowest level since mid-2012," writes Shepherdson. He doesn't think we've seen the bottom in declining sales and worries that a spike in mortgage rates could inflict more pain.
The Commerce Department expects that 80% of signings will become existing home sales transactions within two months.
Here's a look at the continued decline in pending home sales:
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