Pending home sales decline for second month

Published 4:27 pm Friday, August 18, 2023

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July’s pending sales and NETAR’s Pending Sales Index arced lower for the second straight month as the market moved past the typical busiest months of the year.
The pending home sales pace declined 3.4% from June on the heels of a June-May 8.3% decline. Pending sales represent homes that have a signed purchase contract but have not closed. They lead existing home sales data by one to two months.
NETAR Pending Sales Index dropped to 116 – down 12 points – from July last year on the heels of a June 10-point drop. The index is a forward-looking indicator based on the 2018 annual average for signed contracts instead of closings. An index of 100 is equal to the pre-pandemic accepted contracts level. An index of over 100 is the percentage increase, below 100 is a decline.
July’s mid-month report revised the number of closings upward. There were also small increases in the average and median sales prices. Mid-month data typically see small increases when closings filed too late for the first-of-the-month tally are added. Last month’s revision added 96 closings to the sales total and $4,200 to the median sales price. The new sales total is 687, down 16.2% from last year, and the new median price is $269,900, up 10.2%.
Sellers reduced their listing price by $25,000 last month and while the percentage of discounted sales dropped to 50% the median discount increased to $21,700 from $10,000 in June. The median is the middle of the range of discounts. Half of the sales were for more than $21,700, the other half was for less.
There were 193 pending sales in the affordable homes market last month, down 13.5% from last year.
There was a shift in the move-up market from more new listings to declines from last year’s total. The three price bands in that sector totaled 326, down 1.5%. The only increase was listing in the $400K-$499,999K price range, up 2.9%.
New listings in the luxury market increased to 86 from 74 last year – a 16.2% increase.

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