US Pending Home Sale Up +1.6% in December
$DIA, $SPY, $QQQ, $VXX
More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in December. The increase possibly reflects more people scrambling to purchase homes as mortgage rates have been rising and increasing the costs of ownership.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 1.6% to 107.3, a rebound after declining in November.
Pending home sales rose in the West and South, and dipped in the Northeast and Midwest.
Mortgage rates began to rise after Donald Trump’s Presidential win in November. Average 30-year fixed rate mortgages were 4.19% last week, after averaging a low 3.65% of all of Y 2016.
Note: Pending sales contracts are a barometer of future purchases. A sale is typically completed a month or two after a contract is signed.
In terms of completed sales of existing homes, buying activity dipped in December as the number of available homes for sale fell to their lowest level since Y 1999. The inventory squeeze has caused prices to rise and potentially led more people to sign contracts in December out concerns that the number of listings could keep dropping.
The Realtors said last week that sales of existing homes fell 2.8% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49-M. For all of Y 2016, sales posted an annual gain of 3.8% to 5.45-M.
Just 1.65-M homes were listed for sale in December, a 6.3% decliner from a year ago.
Monday, the major US stock market indexes finished at: DJIA -122.65 at 19971.26, NAS Comp -47.07 at 5613.71, S&P 500 -13.79 at 2280.90
Volume: Trade was heavy on the NYSE, with 1.03-B/shares exchanged
- Russell 2000 -0.3% YTD
- DJIA +1.1% YTD
- S&P 500 1.9% YTD
- NAS Comp 4.3% YTD
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