On Thursday (10-26-23), the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)—based on signed real estate contracts, not actual closings, for existing single-family homes, condominiums, and co-ops—increased 1.1% in September from August to a reading of 72.6. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. Year-over-year, pending homes sales declined 11%, with all four regions posting declines.
NAR is reporting that three out of the four reporting regions posted a month-over-month increase in September:
- The Northeast PHSI increased 0.8% from August to a reading of 63.1 but was down 12.7% when compared to September 2022.
- The Midwest index climbed 4.1% higher to a reading 74.3 but was down 9.2% year-over-year.
- The South PHSI rose 0.7% in September to a reading of 87.1 but was down 10.7% when compared to September 2022.
- The West was the only index to decline, posting a 1.8% drop to a reading of 55.3—also down 12.9% year-over-year.
NAR also made the following predictions:
- Existing-home sales will decline 17.5% in 2023, settling at 4.15 million, before rising 13.5% to 4.71 million in 2024.
- Compared to 2022, national median existing-home prices are projected to remain stable in 2023—edging 0.1% higher to $386,700, before increasing 0.7% to $389,500 in 2024.
- Housing starts will fall 10.4% year-over-year to 1.39 million in 2023, before rising to 1.48 million, or 6.5%, in 2024.
FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.