US January pending home sales see sharpest drop in 11 months

Buyers still having difficult time finding home with inventory at all-time low, economist says

The US pending home sales in January posted the sharpest decline in 11 months, according to the National Association of Realtors data released Friday.

The index of pending home sales, one of the leading indicators of the health of the housing market, decreased 5.7% from the previous month, to reach 109.5 in January.

It marked the largest decline for the index since February 2021.

The market estimate for pending home sales was a 1% rise month-on-month in January, while they declined 2.3% in December.

On an annual basis, pending home sales decreased 9.5%.

“With inventory at an all-time low, buyers are still having a difficult time finding a home,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the association, said in a statement.

“Given the situation in the market mortgages, home costs and inventory it would not be surprising to see a retreat in housing demand,” he added.

Pending home sales measure the change in the number of houses under contract to be sold but still awaiting the closing transaction. They exclude new home construction.


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