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27.02.2019 23:28

U.S. pending home sales surge 4.6 percent in January

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced on Wednesday its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index (PHSI) surged 4.6 percent m-o-m to 103.2 in January, up from 98.7 in December.

Economists had expected pending home sales to drop 1.9 percent m-o-m in January.

On y-o-y basis, the index fell 2.3 percent. That was the 13th consecutive month of annual declines.

According to the report, the pending home sales rose in all four major regions in m-o-m terms but fell in most regions compared to January 2018. The PHSI in the Northeast increased 1.6 percent m-o-m to 94.0 in January, and is now 7.6 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest, the indicator rose 2.8 percent m-o-m to 100.2 in January, 0.3 percent lower than January 2018. Pending home sales in the South climbed 8.9 percent m-o-m to an index of 119.8 in January, which is 3.1 percent lower than this time last year. The index in the West advanced 0.3 percent in January to 87.3 and fell 10.1 percent below a year ago.

The chief economist for the NAR, Lawrence Yun, says positive pending home sales figures in January will likely continue. “Income is rising faster than home prices in many areas and mortgage rates look to remain steady. Furthermore, job creation will help lift home buying.”


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