Category Archives: PHSI

CR: Pending Home Sales index declines in December

Pending Home Sales index declines in December

by Bill McBride on 1/28/2013  

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Down in December but Remain on Uptrend

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 4.3 percent to 101.7 in December from 106.3 in November but is 6.9 percent higher than December 2011 when it was 95.1. The data reflect contracts but not closings.

Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist, said there is an uneven uptrend. “The supply limitation appears to be the main factor holding back contract signings in the past month. Still, contract activity has risen for 20 straight months on a year-over-year basis,” he said. “Buyer interest remains solid, as evidenced by a separate Realtor® survey which shows that buyer foot traffic is easily outpacing seller traffic.”

Yun said shortages of available inventory are limiting sales in some areas. “Supplies of homes costing less than $100,000 are tight in much of the country, especially in the West, so first-time buyers have fewer options,” he said …

The PHSI in the Northeast fell 5.4 percent to 78.8 in December but is 8.4 percent higher than December 2011. In the Midwest the index rose 0.9 percent to 104.8 in December and is 14.4 percent above a year ago. Pending home sales in the South declined 4.5 percent to an index of 111.5 in December but are 10.1 percent higher December 2011. In the West the index fell 8.2 percent in December to 101.0 and is 5.3 percent below a year ago.

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

As I’ve noted several times, with limited inventory at the low end and fewer foreclosures, we might see flat or even declining existing home sales. The key for sales is that the number of conventional sales is increasing while foreclosure and short sales decline.


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November Pending Home Sales Continue Upward Trend

November Pending Home Sales Continue Upward Trend

by Stephen Melman — Eye on Housing

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, increased 1.7% in November 2012 to 106.4, up from the downwardly revised 104.6 in October. The November 2012 PHSI was 9.8% higher than the same period a year ago, and reached the highest level since April 2010 when the home buyer tax credit was expiring.

Regionally, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported mixed results for the November 2012 PHSI. The Northeast and West showed the most improvement, with respective monthly increases of 5.2% and 4.2%. The Midwest was up 0.1% in November and the South was unchanged from the previous month.  Compared to a year ago, the Northeast and Midwest were both up 15.2%, and the South was up 13.9%. The November 2012 PHSI in the West was down 3.2% from the same period a year ago.

Pending Home Sales November 2012

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 December 2012 and January 2013 existing sales data will reflect today’s pending sales report, suggesting that existing home sales are likely to rise as we move to 2013.

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