US Pending Home Sales Up 1.1% Month-Over-Month in September

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.

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