Pending sales have rebounded in January, with the South seeing the largest jump in sales across the United States.
The Pending Home Sales Index increased 4.6% to 103.2 in January, up from 98.7 in December. This is a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings. Pending home sales in the South jumped 8.9% to an index of 119.8.
All four major regions saw month-to-month growth, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) data.
Year-over-year contract signings, however, declined 2.3%, making January the thirteenth month of annual decreases.
NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, says he expected an increase in January home sales because a “change in Federal Reserve policy and the reopening of the government were very beneficial to the market.”
“Homebuyers are now returning and taking advantage of lower interest rates, while a boost in inventory is also providing more choices for consumers.”
Additionally, the inventory of for-sale homes has risen, which bodes well for increased pending sales going forward. At the same time, positive pending home sales figures in January will likely continue.
“Income is rising faster than home prices in many areas and mortgage rates look to remain steady,” he says.” Furthermore, job creation will help lift home buying.”
In 2019, Mr Yun forecasts the national median existing-home price this year is expected to increase around 2.2%. Existing-home sales are likely to reach around 5.28 million. This is down 1.1% from 2018’s (5.34 million). in 2018, prices rose 4.9% and existing sales declined 3.1%.