Nationwide contract signings cool in September as buyers await fresh options
Pending home sales dipped 2.3% from August and 8% year-over-year
The nationwide late-summer uptick in homebuying was short-lived.
New contract signings dipped 2.3 percent month-over-month in September and were down 8 percent from September of last year, according to the National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index, which tracks signings for single-family homes, condos and co-ops.
“Transactions slowed a bit in September and are showing signs of a calmer home price trend,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, who noted that activity is still far ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
Some buyers have paused their home searches and will resume after the holidays, Yun said. By then, he expects there to be more homes available.
“It’s worth noting that there will be less inventory until the end of the year compared to the summer months, which happens nearly every year,” he added.
With rents on the rise across the country and rental vacancies declining, more renters could be pushed into the homebuying market in the coming months.
In the meantime, contracts were down in all regions, compared to both August of this year and September 2020.
The Northeast, where pending home sales dropped 3.2 percent from August, saw the most dramatic year-over-year decline at 18.5 percent.
Contract signings in the Midwest saw the biggest month-over-month drop, down 3.5 percent from August and 5.8 percent from September 2020. The South saw transactions fall 1.8 percent from August and 5.8 percent annually, while the West saw transactions fall 1.4 percent from August and 7.2 percent annually.
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