Key Highlights

  • Despite three months of slight declines, pending home sales hit all-time high for month of November, according to National Association of Realtors® (NAR)
  • NAR’s pending home index hit 125.7 in November 2020, +16.4% higher than November 2019

First the good news…pending home sales hit an all-time high for the month of November in 2020. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) pending home index hit 125.7, a whopping +16.4% higher than in November 2019. (An index score of 100 translates into being equal to contract activity in 2001, the year NAR began tracking this piece of contract signings data.)

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The bad news…pending home sales decreased slightly in November for the third consecutive month of m/m declines. NAR’s pending home index fell -2.6% from October to November.

In terms of “bad” news, this slight decline in pending home sales in November and the prior two months is not, comparatively speaking, bad news. According to Lawrence Yun, chief Economist with NAR, “The latest monthly decline is largely due to the shortage of inventory and fast-rising home prices. It is important to keep in mind that the current sales and prices are far stronger than a year ago.”

Yun is quite upbeat for this 2021 housing market. He sees a +10% increase in existing home sales and +20% increase in new home sales in 2021.   With highly buoyant buyer demand continuing, Yun believes, “economic growth is guaranteed from the (recently passed) stimulus package and from vaccine distribution.” Yun’s only cautionary tale for 2021 is that “…high government borrowing will put modest upward pressure on interest rates.”

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Looking at pending home sales on an annual basis, NAR’s pending home sales index was higher in 2020 than in 2019 in every region of the country by between +10.4% and +21.3% despite the index falling on a monthly basis between 1.1% and 4.7%. The southern region of the country scored the largest m/m increase in pending home sales and the western region of the country saw the biggest decline at -4.7%.


Thanks to InmanNews and the National Association of REALTORS®.

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