Jill Mislinski: Earlier today the National Association of Realtors released the September data for their Pending Home Sales Index. “Pending home sales were mostly unchanged in October, but shifted marginally higher after two straight months of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Gains in the Northeast and West were offset by declines in the Midwest and South.” (more here). The chart below gives us a snapshot of the index since 2001. The MoM change came in at 0.2%. Investing.com had a forecast of 1.5%.
Over this time frame, the US population has grown by 13.5%. For a better look at the underlying trend, here is an overlay with the nominal index and the population-adjusted variant. The focus is pending home sales growth since 2001.
The index for the most recent month is 15% below its all-time high in 2005. The population-adjusted index is 22% off its 2005 high.
Pending versus Existing Home Sales
The NAR explains that “because a home goes under contract a month or two before it is sold, the Pending Home Sales Index generally leads Existing Home Sales by a month or two.”