Although pending home sales decreased 1.1% in October, the index was up from the previous year. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased to 104.1 in October, down from an upwardly revised 105.3 in September. The October index was up 2.2% from the same month a year ago, and pending sales were up year-over-year for the second consecutive month.
The October PHSI increased modestly in the Northeast, but decreased in the other three regions, ranging from a 0.6% decrease in the Midwest to a 3.2% decrease in the West. Year-over-year, the West, South and Northeast increased 4.1%, 3.9% and 3.4% respectively, while the Midwest declined 3.0%.
Last week NAR reported a 1.5% increase in October existing home sales, following an increase in September. Firming job and economic growth suggests that the existing home market will demonstrate steady growth through the end of the year. The housing recovery has moved towards higher ground reflected by the 0.7% increase in October new homes sales also reported today.