In anticipation of slowing demand, pending home sales declined -9.5% y/y, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
Three-Month Decline in Pending Home Sales
Signed home contracts in January 2022 slowed to -5.7% m/m from December and -9.5% y/y compared to January 2021, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that market conditions are challenging for buyers. Yun said, “Given the situation in the market – mortgages, home costs and inventory – it would not be surprising to see a retreat in housing demand.”
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Decline in Activity Expected
Fannie Mae forecasters are anticipating the sales of existing homes to drop -4.6% in 2022 despite a +15% uptick in new home sales.
Overall, Fannie Mae calculates that combining sales of existing and new homes may amount to a decline of -2.4% in sales transactions in 2022.
The combination of rising mortgage interest rates, the end of COVID stimulus relief packages that were often used to help with down payments and rising home prices have pushed homebuying into less affordable territory.
In addition to the above combination of factors, Yun noted that the economic spillover from Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine could impact homebuying decisions by individual buyers and investors alike.
NAR’s Pending-Home Sales Index Remained High in January
Even though pending home sales dropped -5.7% m/m and -9.5% y/y in Jn January, NAR’s Pending-Home Sales Index remained at 109.5, significantly higher than the 2001 baseline activity level of 100.
Regional pending sales looked like this in January:
– West – +1.5%
– Northeast – -12%
– Midwest – -6%
-South – -6%
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