Pending Home Sales Edge Up

Pending home sales edged up in December, 0.5 percent in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). The PHSI posted 110.1 in December, up from 109.6 in November. The Index is based on contract signings.

Two of the four major regions in the U.S. saw increases in the PHSI in December, with the South up 2.6 percent to 126.9 and the West up 1.5 percent to 101.7. The Northeast and Midwest saw decreases, down 5.1 percent to 93.9 and 0.3 percent to 105.0, respectively.

“Another month of modest increases in contract activity is evidence that the housing market has a small trace of momentum at the start of 2018,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Jobs are plentiful, wages are finally climbing and the prospect of higher mortgage rates [is] perhaps encouraging more aspiring buyers to begin their search now.”

Yun cautions, however, that these improvements might not raise sales this year.

“Sadly, these positive indicators may not lead to a stronger sales pace,” Yun says. “Buyers throughout the country continue to be hamstrung…