Pending-home sales cool in Aug. with 1.4% drop

September 29, 2015

WASHINGTON (9/29/15)--The National Association of Realtors’ pending-home sales index fell by 1.4% in August, reversing the entirety of July’s gains ( Sept. 28).

On an annual basis, however, home sales climbed by 6.1% for the month and the index’s “longer-term trend remains positive,” said Brent Campbell, Moody’s analyst.

“The recovery in homebuyer demand has been bumpy with several ups and downs experienced since the end of the Great Recession,” Campbell said. “Nonetheless, the long-term trend will remain positive as first-time homebuyers begin to re-enter the market in greater force over the next couple of years.”

Declines were fairly widespread nationwide, increasing only in the West, which posted a 1.8% jump. Sales dropped by 5.6% in the Northeast, 2.2% in the South and 0.4% in the Midwest.

Still, on a year-over-year basis, regional trends remain positive.

Sales rose 9% in August on an annual basis, 7.6% in the West, 6.5% in the Midwest and 4.1% in the South.

“Mortgage purchase applications have already risen off their nadir over the past year and will extend their strength into 2016,” Campbell said. “Mortgage credit will also begin to loosen as banks seek to boost lending revenues and the financial position of households steadily improves. All-cash buyers will also support housing demand, albeit less than in the most recent past.”

Other resources:

Home Buyer Education--Preparing Your Finances electronic member seminar kit

Your Path to Home Ownership handbook