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28.05.2020 22:15

U.S. pending home sales tumble 21.8% in April

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced on Thursday its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index (PHSI) tumbled 21.8 percent m-o-m to 69.0 in April, after a 20.8 percent m-o-m decline in March.

Economists had expected pending home sales to decrease 15 percent m-o-m in April.

On y-o-y basis, the index sank 33.8 percent after a 16.3 percent plunge in March.

According to the report, all regional indices recorded m-o-m declines in April. The Northeast PHSI slumped 48.2 percent m-o-m to 42.6 in April, 52.6 percent lower than a year ago. In the Midwest, the index dropped 15.9 percent m-o-m to 72.0 last month, down 26.0 percent from April 2019. Pending home sales in the South fell 15.4 percent m-o-m to an index of 87.6 in April, a 29.6 percent drop from April 2019. The index in the West decreased 20.0 percent m-o-m in April 2020 to 57.1, down 37.2 percent from a year ago.

However, Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, expects that April will be the lowest point for pending contracts, and the month of May, consequently, will be the lowest point for closed sales. “While coronavirus mitigation efforts have disrupted contract signings, the real estate industry is ‘hot’ in affordable price points with the wide prevalence of bidding wars for the limited inventory,” he said. “In the coming months, buying activity will rise as states reopen and more consumers feel comfortable about homebuying in the midst of the social distancing measures.”


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