The Pending Home Sales Index failed to rebound from a cliff-dive in May, falling by another 3 percent more in June. The index remains at record-low levels.
A “pending home sale” is a home under contract to sell, but not yet closed. The data is culled from local real estate associations and large brokers and accounts for 20 percent of all purchase transactions in a given month nationwide.
The Pending Home Sales Index is a future indicator for the housing market; there is a high correlation between the PHSI and the monthly Existing Home Sales report. This is because of the relatively large sample set used for the PHSI, and because 80 percent of homes under contract close within 60 days, according to the National Association of Realtors.
June’s Pending Home Sales Index is weak by most measures, but if you’re a home buyer , the headlines aren’t so bad. Fewer home sales can push negotiation leverage to the buy-side of a transaction.
Plus, there’s other positives in the market for today’s buyers:
- Home supplies are up, which creates competition among sellers
- Builder confidence is down, which leads to “free” upgrades and incentives
- Mortgage rates are low, which increases cash flow and disposable income
All things equal, the current home buying conditions haven’t been this favorable in years.
The falling figures in June’s Pending Home Sales Index hint that home sales will be down through the rest of the summer and into early-Fall. However, mortgage rates may not and higher mortgage rates can do more to change a monthly payment that a small reduction in home price.
If you’re planning to buy a home later this year, consider moving up your time frame.
It’s an excellent time to be a buyer.