Pending Home Sales Bounce Off Brutal Low, Still -11% from February

Published by Wolf Street on June 29, 2020


Pending sales of existing houses, condos, and co-ops in May – these are contracts that were signed in May but didn’t close in May – bounced off the brutal pandemic low in April, but remained down 10.6% from February 2020 and down 5.1% from May 2019, according to the National Association of Realtors at the end of June.

The index of pending sales was set at 100 for the average contract activity in 2001. Pending sales in May are an indication of what closed sales might look like in June and July.

That sales volume collapsed in this historic manner in March and April was a sign that amid the uncertainty, the market had essentially frozen up, with sellers pulling their homes from the market or not listing them in the first place, and buyers staying away in droves.

While many potential sellers still remain reluctant to put their homes on the market, the market is functioning again. The industry has figured out how to deal with the requirements of social distancing, with sellers’ worries about having potentially infected strangers traipse through their home, and with the concerns of everyone else involved in the transaction.

And according to the NAR, “More listings are continuously appearing as the economy reopens, helping with inventory choices.”

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