The National Association of Realtors is reporting that overall pending home sales declined 2.2% in December. The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings) declined to 99.0 in December. However, year-over-year contract signings dropped 9.8%, making this the twelfth straight month of annual decreases. Interestingly, the NAR said, so far, the partial government shutdown has not caused any obvious damage to home sales.
“The stock market correction hurt consumer confidence, record high home prices cut into affordability and mortgage rates were higher in October and November for consumers signing contracts in December,” said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist.