Last month, pending home sales slid 0.1 percent, according to the latest National Association of REALTORS® Pending Home Sales Index, based on contract signings. Activity climbed in two of the major regions in the U.S., but dipped in the other two. On an annual basis, pending home sales slipped 4.9 percent—the 14th consecutive month of the negative trend.
“In January, pending contracts were up close to 5 percent, so this month’s 1 percent drop is not a significant concern,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “As a whole, these numbers indicate that a cyclical low in sales is in the past but activity is not matching the frenzied pace of last spring.
“If there is a change at all, I would say the Fed will lower interest rates in 2019 or 2020,” Yun says. “That would stimulate the economy and the housing market—but the expectation is no change at all in the current monetary policy, which will help mortgage rates stay at attractive levels.”
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