The Pending Home Sales Index fell to a record low of 82.3 in November, 4.0 percent below the revised October reading of 85.7, and 5.3 percent below the level recorded in November 2007, according to data released by NAR yesterday. The index is a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in November.
Every region saw month-over-month declines: the index dropped 7.2 percent in the Northeast, 6.7 percent in the Midwest, 2.2 percent in the South and 2.4 percent in the West. Compared to a year ago, the index was lower in three of the four regions: 14.6 percent in the Northeast, 10.1 percent in the Midwest, and 12.7 percent in the South. In the West, the index remained 19.3 percent higher than last year.
“Mounting job losses and very weak consumer confidence deterred home buyers from signing contracts in November,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “December’s housing market activity could be comparably lower due to ongoing problems in the economy, so a real estate-focused stimulus plan is urgently needed.”