US Pending Home Sales Plunged To Record Lows In April As Rates Rose

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Thursday, May 30, 2024 - 02:08 PM

After an unexpected jump in March, pending home sales were expected to drop 1.0% MoM in April as mortgage rates pushed back above 7.00% and stayed there.

Well, the analysts had the direction right but magnitude was way off as pending home sales plunged 7.7% MoM - the biggest drop since Feb 2021 (and below the lowest estimate), leaving sales down 0.7% YoY...

Source: Bloomberg

This is the 29th straight month of YoY declines for non-seasonally-adjusted pending home sales.

This MoM decline pushed the Pending Home Sales Index back to record lows...

Source: Bloomberg

The Midwest saw the biggest drop in pending sales, down 9.5% in April, followed by declines of 8.5% and 7.6% in the West and South, respectively. Contract signings in the Northeast fell 3.5%.

“The impact of escalating interest rates throughout April dampened home buying, even with more inventory in the market,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

“But the Federal Reserve’s anticipated rate cut later this year should lead to better conditions, with improved affordability and more supply.”

All driven by affordability crisis as mortgage rates surged back above 7.00%...

Source: Bloomberg

“The prospect of measurable home price declines appears minimal,” Yun said.

“The few markets experiencing price declines will be viewed as second-chance opportunities for buyers to enter the market if those regions continue to add jobs.”

As a reminder, the pending-sales report tends to be a leading indicator of sales of previously owned homes, because houses typically go under contract a month or two before they’re sold.