Category Archives: PHSI

Eye on Housing: Pending Home Sales Increase Modestly

Pending Home Sales Increase Modestly

by Stephen Melman Eye on Housing 

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, increased 1.5% in March 2013 to 105.7 from a downwardly revised 104.1 in February. The March 2013 PHSI reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) was 7.0% higher than the same period a year ago.  NAR reported that pending home sales have been above their previous year levels for the past 23 months.

Pending Home Sales March 2013

The modest increase in the PHSI mirrored last week’s reported total1.5% increase in March new home sales. The March PHSI was consistent across the regions. The PHSI was flat in the Northeast and increased 0.3% in the Midwest, 2.7% in the South and 1.5% in the West. By contrast, March new home sales increased sharply from the previous month in the Northeast and South, but decreased in the Midwest and West. Year over year, the PHSI decreased 4.3% in the West, but increased 6.3%, 13.7% and 10.4% in the Northeast, Midwest and South respectively.

NAR attributed the modest PHSI increase to limited inventory, despite reporting a slight increase in the March inventory level. Rising prices will continue to induce more homeowners to place their homes on the market and broaden choices for potential home buyers. Rising prices might also dampen the enthusiasm of all-cash investors, and further ease the pressure on inventory.

If contracts closed at the same time they were signed, this graph would be the correspondence between sales and the PHSI. So the PHSI is a good indicator of what will likely happen to existing home sales when the contracts close in coming months. We anticipate that the April 2013 and May 2013 existing sales data will reflect today’s pending sales report, suggesting continued moderation in existing home sales as we move through the spring.

1 Comment

Filed under PHSI

CR: Pending Home Sales index increased in January

Pending Home Sales index increased in January

by Bill McBride on 2/27/2013 

From the NAR: January Pending Home Sales Up in All Regions

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 4.5 percent to 105.9 in January from a downwardly revised 101.3 in December and is 9.5 percent above January 2012 when it was 96.7. The data reflect contracts but not closings.

The January index is the highest reading since April 2010 when it hit 110.9, just before the deadline for the home buyer tax credit. Aside from spikes induced by the tax credits, the last time there was a higher reading was in February 2007 when it reached 107.9.

The PHSI in the Northeast rose 8.2 percent to 84.8 in January and is 10.5 percent higher than January 2012. In the Midwest the index increased 4.5 percent to 105.0 in January and is 17.7 percent above a year ago. Pending home sales in the South rose 5.9 percent to an index of 119.3 in January and are 11.3 percent higher January 2012. In the West the index edged up 0.1 percent in January to 102.1 but is 1.5 percent below a year ago.
emphasis added

Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this would usually be for closed sales in February and March.

Also the NAR economist lowered his forecast for sales in 2013 to 5.0 million.  With limited inventory at the low end, and fewer foreclosures, we might see flat or even declining existing home sales this year. The key for sales is that the number of conventional sales is increasing while foreclosure and short sales decline.

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/02/pending-home-sales-index-increased-in.html#eG2G5qmgdz6zjMY5.99

Leave a comment

Filed under PHSI