The number of homes under contract to sell rose in June for the fifth straight month.
It’s the Pending Home Sales Index’s longest winning streak since 2003 and another piece of evidence that the housing market may be rebounding.
- The supply of new homes is falling
- The supply of existing homes is falling
- The Case-Shiller Index showed home value increases in many of its markets
Separately, the data is interesting. All together, it paints the portrait of a recovery.
That said, we can’t forget that the Pending Home Sales Index is somewhat unique versus other real estate reports. Whereas data on existing and new home sales measures closed transactions, the Pending Home Sales Index only measures intent to buy.
Just because a home goes under contract, in other words, doesn’t mean that it actually will sell.
Purchase transactions can fall apart for a multitude of reasons including, but not limited to, buyer-seller disputes, failed home inspections, and an inability to secure mortgage financing. The Pending Home Sales Index doesn’t account for these types of issues.
In general, though, as the number of homes under contract increases, Existing Home Sales increase, too — usually on a 2-month lag. Home sale data should remain strong through early-Fall, at least.
For active home buyers, be conscious of the fact that that more home sales plus falling home supplies leads to higher home values. If you’re looking for a bargain, the longer you wait, the less likely you may be to find it.