Pending U.S. Home Sales Drop In September 2020

The decline in contract activity may signal a drop in sales in the coming months (iStock)

The decline in contract activity may signal a drop in sales in the coming months (iStock)

After four months of growth, the number of U.S. homes going into contract declined in September, indicating a slowdown in homebuyer demand.

A National Association of Realtors index of pending home sales dropped 2.2 percent last month, compared to August.

NAR’s index tracks signed contract activity for single-family homes, condo and co-op units, and is seen as an indicator of future sales of existing homes.

Though September’s numbers represented a month-over-month dip, the index was up a substantial 20.5 percent from September 2019.

The only region of the country that bucked the trend was the Northeast, where pending home sales rose 2 percent last month from August. All regions posted year-over-year gains.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said that the housing market was still on track to end 2020 with more sales than in

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Pending Home Sales Falter 2.2% in September

Pending Home Sales Falter 2.2% in September

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2020

Still all four regions see year-over-year increases in contract activity

Key Highlights

– After four straight months of contract activity growth, pending home sales declined slightly in September by 2.2%. The Northeast was the only region registering a monthly gain.

– Nationally, contract signings climbed 20.5% compared to a year ago.

– All four regions experienced double-digit year-over-year increases.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Pending home sales experienced a minor decline in September after four consecutive months of contract activity growth, according to the National Association of Realtors®. While all four major U.S. regions recorded notable year-over-year increases, only the Northeast achieved month-over-month gains in pending home sales transactions.

NAR September 2020 Pending Home Sales
NAR September 2020 Pending Home Sales

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI),*www.nar.realtor/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract

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Pending home sales fell in September, but annual gain is the important metric

Today the National Association of Realtors reported pending home sales are up 20.5% year over year — and that is the only headline that you should care about.

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This is one more data point showing that housing data has gone wild to the upside, so we should expect some downward moderation in the month-to-month data. Similarly, the recent Census/HUD report on new home sales showed they were up 32.1% year over year, whereas the monthly numbers showed a decline of 3.5% from August to September. I expected the negative revisions in the monthly numbers to be even larger, so these numbers may be revised lower yet again. 

Month-to-month housing data can move up and down, but the trend is what matters most. For this reason, I recommend just focusing on the year-over-year data.  Focusing on the year-over-year data with home sales and especially with purchase applications is the key

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August pending home sales soar to a record high

A sale pending sign is posted in front of a home for sale in San Anselmo, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Pending home sales rose 8.8% in August compared with July, reaching a record high pace, according to the National Association of Realtors survey, which dates to January 2001.

Sales were 24.2% higher than August 2019.

These sales track signed contracts on existing homes, not closings, so they are an indicator of closed sales in the next one to two months.

“Tremendously low mortgage rates – below 3% – have again helped pending home sales climb in August,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Additionally, the Fed intends to hold short-term fed funds rates near 0% for the foreseeable future, which should, in the absence of inflationary pressure, keep mortgage rates low, and that will undoubtedly aid homebuyers continuing to enter the marketplace.”

Yun also noted that not all

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Chapel Hill movie theater for sale. Here’s what the pending owner plans for the site.

One of Chapel Hill’s last chain movie theaters might not reopen post-COVID if a Cary developer moves ahead with plans for a new medical office.

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Regal Timberlyne, which opened in 1993, is one of 18 Regal Theatre locations in North Carolina. Other Triangle locations are in Raleigh, Cary, Garner and Apex.

The six-screen, 1,350-seat theater, located at 120 Banks Drive near the Timberlyne shopping center, closed in March when the state shut down to stem COVID-19 infections. The state has not yet lifted its restrictions on movie theaters.

Online postings show Foundry Commercial had listed the theater property for sale in January. Cary-based Parkway Holdings Phase 2 LLC plans to close on the property in December, so it’s unlikely the theater will reopen, Parkway Holdings manager Eli Zablud said.

Regal Theatre officials did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Parkway Holdings representative, TMTLA Associates, submitted a concept

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