Pending Home Sales Fell in October. Here’s What That Means

Large white house with a red For Sale sign in the yard.

Image source: Getty Images.

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The housing market has been hot in 2020, and low mortgage rates have largely driven that trend. In fact, with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate sitting well below 3% since summertime, it’s easy to see why prospective buyers have clamored for homes.

But things changed a bit in October. Pending home sales fell 1.1% from September, and while that figure was still 20.2% higher than in October of 2019, it represents a month-to-month decline.

Why did pending home sales drop?

The term “pending home sales” means the number of signed contracts on existing homes. Or, to put it another way, it’s a measure of the sales that close on a monthly basis.

Pending home sales

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U.S. New Home Sales Fell in October

By Maria Martinez


Purchases of new single-family houses in the U.S. slightly decreased in October. Here are the main takeaways from the Commerce Department’s report released Wednesday:

–New home sales fell 0.3% in October compared with September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000.

–The reading beat economists expectations polled by The Wall Street Journal, who had expected an increase to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 973,000.

–October sales were 41.5% above the same month a year earlier.

–September new home sales were upwardly revised to 1,002,000 from an earlier estimate of 959,000.

–Monthly new residential sales data is volatile and often revised. October’s figures came with a margin of error of 13.6 percentage points.

–The median price of a new home was $330,600, up from $322,400 the same month a year earlier.

–The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was

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Why These Top Real Estate Stocks Fell by Double Digits in October

What happened

Shares of residential mortgage lender PennyMac Financial Services (NYSE:PFSI) and homebuilders/financers D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI) and Meritage Homes (NYSE:MTH) all fell by more than 10% in October, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. That was much worse than the S&P 500, which sank only 2.8% during the month. 

D.R. Horton — the largest homebuilder in the U.S. by number of homes sold — had the smallest decline, with shares “only” down 11.7%. PennyMac’s stock fared slightly worse, down 12.6%. Meritage Homes got hammered, though, tumbling 21.1%. 

It was a rare month of underperformance during 2020, which has been a stellar year for real estate-related stocks. Even with October’s sell-offs, all three stocks are up big. So far this year, D.R. Horton’s shares are up 38.3%, Meritage’s are up 58.4%, and PennyMac’s have soared an amazing 67.3%, compared with an 8.7% year-to-date gain for the overall

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Sales in Quebec City remained at exceptional levels in October and the number of properties for sale fell even further

Quebec City Real Estate Market

Residential Sales – October 2020
Residential Sales – October 2020
Residential Sales – October 2020

QUEBEC CITY, Nov. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB) has just released its residential real estate market statistics for the Quebec City Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) for the month of October, based on the real estate brokers’ Centris provincial database.

According to Charles Brant, director of market analysis at the QPAREB, “Quebec City continues to be the metropolitan area whose market conditions have tightening the fastest to the advantage of sellers. There was a 45 per cent increase in sales and a further drop in listings, which is unprecedented for a month of October.”

October highlights

  • Very strong sales growth on the South Shore of Quebec City (+66 per cent) and in the Northern Periphery (+49 per cent). The agglomeration of Quebec City also posted remarkable sales

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Pending Home Sales Fell in September. Have Buyers Had It With High Prices?

A man wearing a medical mask while standing in front of a home and holding a For Sale sign.

Image source: Getty Images

There’s a reason buyers have clamored to purchase homes since summertime: Mortgage rates have fallen to historic lows, and borrowers want to capitalize on those great opportunities. But to do so, they need affordable homes to buy — and those have been difficult to come by.

There’s been a major shortage of homes on the market since the coronavirus pandemic kicked into gear, and that’s driven home prices up — so much so that many buyers found themselves having to outbid others to snag the limited inventory available these past months.

But new data from the National Association of Realtors reveals that buyers have, perhaps, had enough. Pending homes sales, a measure of signed contracts on homes for sale, fell 2.2% in September compared to August — the first decline in four months.

Pending sales fell 3.2% in September in the Midwest, 3% in the South,

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iPhone sales fell 20% ahead of iPhone 12 launch, but Apple isn’t worried


Now that the iPhone 12 is out, the next question is how well it’ll do.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Apple’s iPhone sales plummeted 20% as consumers awaited the release of its iPhone 12 amid the continued spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has upended lives, disrupted business and slowed manufacturing across the globe. But Apple executives said they aren’t terribly worried about it.

That’s primarily thanks to Apple’s delay releasing the iPhone 12, creating a fluke in financial reporting that artificially made the company’s sales look lower than they otherwise would. Last year’s number included about a week of newly announced iPhone sales. This year’s number didn’t. As a result, Apple tallied $26.4 billion in older iPhone sales, down more than a fifth from the same time a year ago.

Instead of lingering

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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.


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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Sales of new homes fell in September; Dunkin’ Brands says it’s held talks to go private |

New home sales slip in Sept.

CHARLOTTE — Sales of new homes fell by 3.5 percent in September to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 959,000 million units, the government said Monday, as the housing market’s summer buying season came to a close.

The U.S. Commerce Department said Monday that despite the modest decrease, sales of new homes are up 32.1 percent from a year earlier, as the housing market remains strong despite the pandemic.

The housing market, like most of the economy, came to a near standstill in March and in April, causing the typical spring summer buying season to be delayed until the summer. Once economies reopened, pent-up demand translated into sales of both new and existing homes, driving home prices in many places to record highs.

New home sales for August were revised downward to 994,000 from a previously reported 1.01 million units.

The median price of a

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U.S. New-Home Sales Fell Slightly in September, Remain Elevated

(Bloomberg) — New-home sales in the U.S. fell slightly in September, while remaining elevated, suggesting demand is being restrained by lean inventory despite record-low mortgage rates.

Purchases of new single-family houses dropped 3.5% from August to a 959,000 annualized pace from a downwardly revised 994,000 rate, government data showed Monday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 1.03 million rate of sales in September. The median selling price rose 3.5% from a year earlier to $326,800.

chart: U.S. new-home sales slowed in September as inventory remains lean

© Bloomberg
U.S. new-home sales slowed in September as inventory remains lean

Extremely low borrowing costs and greater buyer appetite for suburban properties has powered residential investment and is seen adding to third-quarter economic growth. The Federal Reserve has signaled it expects to hold interest rates near zero at least through 2023. At the same time, a recent decline in mortgage applications — to the lowest level since July

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Body of sewer contractor who fell into well has been recovered | Local News

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west ferry rescue

Buffalo fire and police divers responded Thursday to call of a contract worker who fell into a well that connected to several others at Bird Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

John Hickey

The body of a sewer contractor who had fallen into a well on Bird Island Thursday was recovered overnight, the Buffalo Police Department said Friday morning.  

Authorities said an investigation is continuing into the incident at the Buffalo Sewer Authority’s pumping station on Bird Island. 

The private contractor, who was working for the Buffalo Sewer Authority, had been missing and presumed dead, police announced on Thursday afternoon.

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