Home sales drop in August
Sales higher than 2011
Pending home sales decreased in August but remain higher on a yearly basis, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a recent report.
According to the NAR, pending home sales (contracts but not closings) dropped 2.6 percent month-over-month in August – from 101.9 to 99.2 – but were 20.7 percent higher than August 2011 (89.6).
“The performance in month-to-month contract signings has been uneven with ongoing shortages of lower priced inventory in much of the country, and across most price ranges in the West, but activity has remained at notably higher levels this year,” Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist, said in a statement.
The monthly decline comes one month after July pending home sales activity that was at its highest level since April 2010, the NAR noted.
Yun pointed out that the monthly decrease shouldn’t be overshadowed by the consistent year-over-year increases the market has seen.
“The index shows 16 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, and that has translated into a higher number of closed sales,” he said. “Year-to-date existing-home sales are 9 percent above the same period last year, but sales were relatively flat from 2008 through 2011.”
Sales drop in 3 of 4 regions
According to the NAR, its Pending Home Sale Index (PHSI) dropped in three of four major U.S. regions in August.
The Northeast was the only region to see a monthly increase, as PHSI increased 0.9 percent. In the West, PHSI dropped 7.2 percent month-over-monthly, while the Midwest and South experience 2.6 percent and 1.1 percent monthly PHSI declines, respectively.
Three of four regions came in with a higher PHSI on a yearly basis. Year-over-year, the PHSI in both the Midwest and the Northeast is 19.9 percent higher, while PHSI in the South in August was 13.2 percent higher on a yearly basis. PHSI in the West in August came in 4.2 percent lower than a year earlier.