Pend­ing home-sales in­dex falls 2.8%

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - — The As­so­ci­ated Press

WASH­ING­TON — Fewer Amer­i­cans signed con­tracts to pur­chase homes last month as ris­ing prices, higher mort­gage rates and a dwin­dling sup­ply of avail­able homes ap­peared to frus­trate many po­ten­tial buy­ers, es­pe­cially in the West.

The Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors said Mon­day that its sea­son­ally ad­justed pend­ing home-sales in­dex fell 2.8 per­cent to 106.4, the low­est level in a year.

The de­cline sug­gests that higher mort­gage rates, which have risen by about a half-per­cent­age point since the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, may be start­ing to bite into sales. And the num­ber of homes for sale has fallen to near-record lows, forc­ing many would-be buy­ers to bid up prices. The com­bi­na­tion of higher prices and ris­ing mort­gage rates are mak­ing homes less af­ford­able.

Th­ese trends are ap­par­ent in the re­gional data. The pend­ing home-sales in­dex in the West plunged 9.8 per­cent in Jan­uary and is now slightly be­low where it was a year ago. The West in­cludes some of the high­est-priced hous­ing mar­kets in the coun­try, par­tic­u­larly San Fran­cisco, Seat­tle, and Den­ver. The sharp de­cline in that re­gion sug­gests some of those mar­kets could be start­ing to cool.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.