NAR released a summary of pending home sales data showing that July’s pending home sales pace weakened 1.0% last month and fell 19.9% from a year ago. The last time the index was that low was April of 2020 during the pandemic, and the index was 71.6.
Pending sales represent homes with a signed contract to purchase but which have yet to close. They tend to lead existing-home sales data by 1 to 2 months.
All four regions showed double-digit declines from a year ago. The West had the most significant dip of 30.1%, followed by the South with a drop in contract signings of 20%. The Northeast fell 15.4%, followed by the Midwest with the smallest decline of 13.4%.
From last month, three of the four regions showed reductions in contract signings. The West region had the only gain of 2.2%. The Midwest had the most significant dip of 2.7%, followed by the Northeast with a decrease of 1.9%. The South had the smallest decline of 1.1%.
The U.S. pending home sales index level for July was 89.8.
July’s contract signings bring the pending index below the 100-level mark for the fourth consecutive month.
The 100 level is based on a 2001 benchmark and is consistent with existing home sales above the 5 million mark.