Mortgage Daily

Published On: January 30, 2017

The nation’s supply of residential homes for sale expanded last month, though it’s not clear if the improvement will continue into 2017.

An indication of upcoming existing home sales, the Pending Home Sales Index, landed at 109.0 during the final month of last year.

The seasonally adjusted index increased from 107.3 the prior month.
It was also improved from an upwardly revised 108.7 a year prior.

The National Association of Realtors reported the index Monday.

“Pending sales rebounded last month as enough buyers fended off rising mortgage rates and alarmingly low inventory levels to sign a contract,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stated in the announcement. “The main storyline in the early months of 2017 will be if supply can meaningfully increase to keep price growth at a moderate enough level for households to absorb higher borrowing costs. Sales will struggle to build on last year’s strong pace if inventory conditions don’t improve.”

Yun
noted that much of the current supply is in the upper end of the market — a situation that “is squeezing prospective first-time buyers the most.”

Out front of the gain from November’s index was the West, where the PHSI was up 5 percent
to 106.1. A 2 percent gain left December’s index at 121.3 in the South.

In the Midwest, pending home sales slipped 1 percent, leaving that region’s index at 102.7. At 96.4, the index in the Northeast was off 2 percent from November.

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