Oct PHSI 1.pngPending-home sales surged 7.5% on a monthly basis in October after falling 2.3% in September, the National Association of REALTORS® reported, citing its Pending Home Sales Index.

Year over year, contract signings were down 1.4%, according to a press release.

“Motivated by fast-rising apartment rents and the anticipated increase in mortgage rates, consumers that are on strong financial footing are signing contracts to purchase a home sooner rather than later,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said, noting that October’s strong numbers indicate total existing-home sales in 2021 will exceed six million, representing the best performance in 15 years. “This solid buying is a testament to demand still being relatively high, as it is occurring during a time when inventory is still markedly low.”

All four geographic regions saw increases in contract activity, led by the Midwest, which clocked an 11.8% rise from September, and the South, where signed contracts rose 8%. Pending transactions climbed 6.9% in the Northeast and 2.1% in the West.

Compared to last year, the Northeast had the largest drop in the PHSI, with a 10% decrease, followed by the West, with a 6.2% slide. The Midwest and South saw increases of 5.1% and 0.6%, respectively.

“Even as rates increased in October, the housing market remained a competitive sellers’ market,” First American Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi said. “Demand remains high against a very limited number of homes for sale. A high velocity of sales, as indicated by lower days on market, explains a housing market characterized by higher sales and lower inventory.”

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Pending Home Sales on the Rise

A decline in new home listings has had little impact on the market as far as demand is concerned, according to a recent Redfin report.

Hefty homebuying demand coupled with an inventory shortage has caused asking prices to surge. As a result, the end of August saw a 6% increase in pending sales from a year earlier, with home prices up 14%.

The report, citing data from a four-week period ending Sept. 5, states that the median home sales price rose 14% year over year to $358,250. In addition, prices on new listings rose 10% from September 2020 to a median of $353,500.

“More homes were listed this summer, but they were quickly snatched up by homebuyers even as bidding wars have become more rare,” Redfin Lead Economist Taylor Marr said in a press release. “The market hasn’t cooled off any further than it usually does this time of year, and we expect homebuying demand to remain strong through the fall.”

The report noted that September’s active listings fell 23% from 2020. This was a 3% decrease from the 2021 peak hit during the four-week period ending Aug. 8.

Nearly half (47%) of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market, up from 43% in September 2020 but down 9 percentage points since its peak in late March 2021.

The report shows that homes were on the market for a median of 19 days before selling.

On average, 4.9% of homes for sale each week saw a price drop, up 0.8% from a year ago and the highest level since the four-week period ending Oct. 13, 2019.

According to the report, 50% of homes sold above listing price. While this was up from 33% in 2020, the measure has been falling since the four-week period ending July 11, when it peaked at 55%.

The average home sold for 1.4% above its asking price, down 0.9% from its peak in July and up 2.1% from a year earlier.

The report found a 0.2% week-over-week decrease in mortgage applications, with 30-year mortgage rates sitting flat at 2.87% for the week ending Sept. 2.

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AP reports:

WASHINGTON — The number of buyers who agreed to purchase previously occupied homes rose sharply in February, far exceeding expectations, in a sign that the housing market may be coming back from the winter doldrums.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday its seasonally adjusted index of sales agreements rose 8.2 percent from January to a February reading of 97.6. January’s reading was revised slightly downward to 90.2.

The report “may signal the early stages of a second surge of home sales this spring,” said Lawrence Yun, the trade group’s chief economist

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