Pending Home Sales Suffer Worst Decline Streak Since Financial Crisis

Despite disappointing weakness in new- and existing-home sales in April, pending home sales were expected to maintain their gains, rising 0.5% MoM (after a 3.8% MoM rise in March).

However, the analysts were way off, as pending homes sales slipped 1.5% MoM

Only the Midwest managed a rise in sales...

  • Northeast fell 1.8%; March fell 1.7%

  • Midwest up 1.3%; March rose 2.6%

  • South fell 2.5%; March rose 4.4%

  • West fell 1.8%; March rose 8.8%

"We are seeing migration to more affordable regions, particularly in the South, where there has been recent job growth and homes are more affordable," Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said.

This is the 16th month in a row of YoY declines in pending home sales...(this is the longest streak of losses since the financial crisis)

Also notable from the chart above is that each of the rebounds from home sales declines has been weaker and weaker.

Yun said the sales dip has yet to account for some of the more favorable trends toward homeownership, such as lower mortgage rates.

"Though the latest monthly figure shows a mild decline in contract signings, mortgage applications and consumer confidence have been steadily rising,” he said. “It’s inevitable for sales to turn higher in a few months."

"Home price appreciation has been the strongest on the lower-end as inventory conditions have been consistently tight on homes priced under $250,000. Price conditions are soft on the upper-end, especially in high tax states like Connecticut, New York and Illinois."

The supply of inventory for homes priced under $250,000 stood at 3.3 months in April, and homes priced $1 million and above recorded an inventory of 8.9 months in April.