Pending Home Sales Fell Worse Than Expected in March

Pending home sales fell worse than expected in March, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors.

  • M-O-M: The Pending Home Sales Index fell to 78.9 in March, down 5.2% from February and the lowest level since December.
  • Y-O-Y: Pending transactions were down 23.2% when compared to the same time last year.

Swing & A Miss. Economists had projected that pending home sales would actually climb 0.5% to 83.6. Reminder, an index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.

South Stays Positive. The Southern region was the only area that stayed positive in March with 0.2% growth to an index of 99.6. The three other regions fell in March.

  • The Midwest reported the biggest drop with a 10.7% dip to an index of 75.7, the Northeast fell 8.1% to an index of 66.6, a decline of 24.3%, and the West index decreased 8.0% in March to 59.4.

Analysis. Lawrence Yun, chief NAR Economist, said lack of inventory continues to be a problem. “The lack of housing inventory is a major constraint to rising sales…Multiple offers are still occurring on about a third of all listings, and 28% of homes are selling above list price. Limited housing supply is simply not meeting demand nationally.”