Pending home sales drop as buyers become more cautious

The figures: declining sales

The number of homebuyers who signed a contract to purchase a home in November has declined as high home prices give buyers pause.

Pending home sales fell 2.2% in November from October, the National Association of Realtors reported on Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.8% increase in pending home sales in November.

The Pending Home Sales Index assesses real estate transactions for which a contract has been signed for a previously owned house, but the sale has not yet been completed, and it is compared to the activity of signing contracts in progress. 2001. The index provides an overview of the direction the data on sales of existing homes will take in the coming months, which is based on closed transactions.

What happened

Compared to a year ago, pending sales were down 2.7%, according to the report. On a monthly basis, each region reported a drop in contract signatures in November. The Midwest posted the largest decline, dropping 6.3%.

The big picture

Buyers could be cold-eyed, according to National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun. “There was less home sales stock on hold this time around, which I would attribute to the low supply of housing, but also to buyers hesitant about house prices,” he said. .

Many housing economists expect the shortage of homes for sale to improve next year as more sellers enter the market, which Yun says could ease the affordability constraints some have faced. buyers are facing. However, the market has a major headwind in the form of the omicron variant as an increase in cases could delay sales and homebuilding activity.

What they say

“The start of the year has recently been one of the most competitive seasons, with buyers aiming to get a head start on New Year’s resolutions, while sellers tend to wait until the heart of spring to list. homes, ”said Danielle Hale, chief economist at

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