Market Overview

Pending Home Sales Miss Big; How Markets Reacted

Pending Home Sales Miss Big; How Markets Reacted

  • August pending home sales came in 1.4 percent lower than the July number.
  • The National Association of Realtors reports that high prices are more to blame for a decline in sales than weakening demand.
  • Total existing home sales for 2015 are projected to come in about 7.0 percent higher than 2014 sales.
  • According to the latest numbers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homebuyers’ willingness to pay increasingly hefty prices may be waning. The NAR reported Monday that pending home sales fell 1.4 percent month-over-month (M/M) in August, a sign that the housing market may be beginning to cool off.

    Demand Not A Problem

    Despite the disappointing headline number, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says that market fears and high prices, rather than lackluster demand, are to blame for the August decline.

    Related Link: Housing Data, Earnings Are Backdrop To Fed's Yellen Appearance

    “Pending sales have leveled off since mid-summer, with buyers being bounded by rising prices and few available and affordable properties within their budget,” Yun wrote in a statement.

    Fundamentals Strong

    August pending home sales remained 6.1 percent ahead of August 2014 levels. In addition, August represents the 12th consecutive month that sales have increased on a year-over-year(Y/Y) basis. Yun also believes that sales will continue to maintain their current growth pace in coming months.

    The Numbers

    The NAR is currently forecasting that the median sales price of an existing home in 2015 will be $220,300, a 5.8 percent increase over 2014. The total number of existing home sales for the year will come in at about 5.8 million, 7.0 percent higher than 2014’s total, but still about 25 percent below the 7.08 million peak back in 2005.

    Strong demand is the silver lining for shareholders of the SPDR S&P Homebuilders (ETF) (NYSE: XHB), which is down nearly 3.4 percent in Monday trading. The ETF is up 1.7 percent in 2015, but has fallen 11.2 percent since mid-August.

    Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

    Related Link: Public Domain

    Posted-In: Lawrence Yun National Association of RealtorsNews Specialty ETFs Econ #s Top Stories ETFs Real Estate Best of Benzinga


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