WASHINGTON (10/30/15)--Pending-home sales fell for the second straight month in September, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The NAR’s pending-home sales index dropped 2.3% following a 1.4% step back the previous month. Sales remained 3% higher year-over-year, however.
The declines illustrate “the uneven pace of recovery in homebuyer demand since the end of the housing bust,” said Brent Campbell, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com Oct. 29). “Despite the past two months of decreases, the national pending-home sales index is still well off its bottom reached in mid-2010, and the longer-term trend remains sanguine.”
Pending-home sales fell in all four census regions, dropping 4% in the Northeast, 2.6% in the South, 2.5% in the Midwest and 0.2% in the West. Still, year-ago sales for all regions except the South recorded year-over-year gains.
“First-time homebuyers will slowly begin to re-enter the market over the next several years, spurring an increase in pending-home sales,” Campbell said. “A tightening labor market will spur greater wage growth over the near term, giving first-time homebuyers additional funds for a down payment.” (See Oct. 28 News Now: Millennials buyer homes at higher rate: Commerce Dept.)
Mortgage rates continue to dip, meanwhile.
The average interest rate for all mortgage loans dropped to 3.95% from 3.99% in September, according to numbers from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
The average interest rate for conventional, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.17%, a 3 basis point drop, while the average loan amount for all loans came in at $307,700 for the month, up $4,400 from August.