Pending home sales fall again

By Qiong (June) Zhang721 Comments

Signed contracts to buy existing homes fell for the fifth straight month in October, as the government shutdown added to an overall slowdown in the U.S. housing market. So-called pending home sales eased 0.6% from an upwardly revised September reading and are down 1.6% from October 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors. This is the lowest sales pace since December 2012.

Regionally, gains in pending home sales in the Northeast and Midwest were stronger, while the South and West saw deeper declines. Sales rose 2.8% month-to-month in the Northeast and 1.2% in the Midwest. Sales slipped 0.8% in the South from September and in the West the decline was steepest, with 4.1% fewer buyers signing contracts.

While the Realtors’ survey,  showed a big drop in the usually investor-heavy West, another report saw investors returning to the market in October after stepping back earlier in the year. After surging to 23% of the market in February, investors made up just 16.6% of home buyers in August, according to Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance. Over the past two months, however, that share has climbed back to 17.4%


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