For the second consecutive month, pending home sales were above year-ago levels–rising 2.2 percent over October 2013, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest Pending Home Sales Index. Contract signings have remained at a healthy pace for six straight months, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
The year-over-year rise came despite a 1.1 percent month-over-month decrease in October in pending home sales. In October, the Pending Home Sales Index reached 104.1.
“In addition to low interest rates, buyers entering the market this autumn are being lured by the increase in homes for sale and less competition from investors paying cash,” Yun says. “Demand is holding steady but would be more robust if it weren’t for lagging wage growth and tight credit conditions that continue to hamper those individuals looking for relief from rising rents.”
In October, the median existing-home price was $208,300 for all housing types – 5.5 percent higher than October 2013. According to NAR, monthly median price growth has averaged 5.8 percent in 2014. Last year, price growth averaged 11.5 percent.
“The increase in median prices for existing-homes has leveled off, representing a healthier pace that has kept affordability in-check for buyers in many parts of the country while giving more previously stuck home owners with little or no equity the ability to sell,” says Yun.
Breakdown by Region
Here’s a look at pending home sales in October across the country:
- Northeast: pending home sales rose 0.5 percent to 87.9, now 3.4 percent higher than a year ago.
- Midwest: home sale contracts fell 0.6 percent in October to 100.6, and are 3 percent below year-ago levels.
- South: pending home sales dropped 1 percent to 118.3 in October, but remain 3.9 percent higher than October 2013 levels.
- West: pending home sales decreased 3.2 percent to 98.1 in October, but are 4.1 percent higher than a year ago.
Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online, December 2014, with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright December 2014. All rights reserved. http://realtormag.realtor.org