Pending home sales continue to cool off in September

Cold house

Hit second lowest reading in 2015

Brenda Swanson for Housingwire October 29, 2015

Pending home sales continued to cool off in September, dropping for the second-straight month and to its second lowest index reading in 2015, according to the National Association of Realtors. Additionally, all four major regions experienced a pullback in activity in September.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 2.3% to 106.8 in September from a slightly downwardy revised 109.3 in August. This is still 3% above September 2014’s reading of 103.7.

To put this in perspective, with last month’s decline, the index is now at its second lowest level of the year. However, it still has increased year-over-year for 13 straight months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, attributed the decline to a combination of factors.

“There continues to be a dearth of available listings in the lower end of the market for first-time buyers, and Realtors in many areas are reporting stronger competition than what’s normal this time of year because of stubbornly-low inventory conditions,” he said.

“Additionally, the rockiness in the financial markets at the end of the summer and signs of a slowing U.S. economy may be causing some prospective buyers to take a wait-and-see approach,” said Yun.