Pending home sales declined on a monthly and yearly basis in December according to new information from the National Association of Realtors. The latest Pending Home Sales Index, released this week for the month of December, shows a 2.2 percent decline compared to the month prior and a dramatic 9.8 percent drop compared with December 2017. This marks 12 straight months of annual declines and the lowest December reading since 2013.
Contracts to purchase existing homes, frequently referred to as pending sales, are a strong indicator of future home sales. The end-of-year slump coincided with significant volatility on Wall Street.
“The stock market correction hurt consumer confidence,” said NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun. He added that mortgage rates, which have since declined, were elevated in October and November when these contracts were signed.
Today, conventional conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.375 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.875 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.375 percent.
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