Pending Home Sales Unchanged in April

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) released the latest monthly data for its pending home sales index. The latest index remained at 78.9, representing a 0.0% change from last month, lower than the expected 0.5% increase. Pending home sales are down 20.3% compared to one year ago.

"Not all buying interests are being completed due to limited inventory," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Affordability challenges certainly remain and continue to hold back contract signings, but a sizeable increase in housing inventory will be critical to get more Americans moving." (Read more)

Pending Home Sales Background

The pending home sales index (PHSI) was created by the National Association of Relators to track home sales where the contract is signed, but the transaction has not yet closed. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. The PHSI is a leading economic indicator of future existing home sales.

The chart below gives us a snapshot of the index since 2001, the first year data was analyzed. Pending Home Sales Index

Over this time frame, the US population has grown by 17.9%. For a better look at the underlying trend, here is an overlay with the nominal index and the population-adjusted variant. The focus is pending home sales growth since 2001.

Pending Home Sales Growth

The above chart shows the percent off turn-of-the-century values. The index for the most recent month is currently 41% below its all-time high from August 2020. The population-adjusted index is 45% off its high from July 2005.