Pending Homes Sales Dip in November
Drops For Third Time in Four Months
The Pending Homes Sales Index, a gauge of contract signings, fell slightly in November, the National Association of Realtors said.
But it is third time in the last four months that the PHSI has dropped, most likely because buyers are faced with rising home prices and low inventories, the NAR added.
Small gains in the Midwest and South were more than offset by larger losses in the Northeast and West, as the PHSI declined 0.9 percent to 106.9 in November, from a reading of 107.9 in October.
The NAR noted, however, that the PHSI is 2.7 percent higher than what it read in November 2014, and it has increased year-over-year for 15 straight months.
"Home prices rising too sharply in several markets, mixed signs of an economy losing momentum and waning supply levels have acted as headwinds in recent months despite low mortgage rates and solid job gains," said Lawrence Yun, the NAR's chief economist. "While feedback from Realtors continues to suggest healthy levels of buyer interest, available listings that are move-in ready and in affordable price ranges remain hard to come by for many would-be buyers."
Existing-home sales are forecast to finish 2015 at a pace of around 5.25 million, and if that holds true, it would be the highest since 2006, but roughly 25 percent below the prior peak set in 2005 of 7.08 million units, the NAR said.
Northeast -- a drop of 3.0 percent to 91.8 in November; 4.3 percent above a year ago.
Midwest -- a rise of 1.0 percent to 104.9; 4.1 percent higher than November 2014.
South -- an increase of 1.3 percent to 119.9; 0.5 percent higher year-over-year.
West -- a decline of 5.5 percent to 100.4; 4.5 percent better than the same month last year.
Dodge Momentum Index Declines
A decline of more than 10 percent in commercial planning activity drove the Dodge Momentum Index to drop 3.7 percent in November.
The index fell to 119.9 from 124.5.
Dodge Data and Analytics began the index in 2000 using the number 100 as its starting, benchmark point. The DMI measures the first or initial report of nonresidential building projects in the planning stages, and these filings typically lead construction by at least a full year.
"The decline in November for the overall index was the result of a 10.2 percent slide in commercial planning activity, while projects entering planning in the institutional sector increased by 5.3 percent," Dodge Data said in a news release.
November's drop follows healthy increases in July (+4.6 percent) and September (+4.9 percent). The DMI also fell in October, declining 4.8 percent.
Results in the last two months bring the DMI to "a level that is more consistent with the gentle upward trend in planning activity that began in 2012," Dodge Data said.
There were a total of seven projects entering planning in November, each valued in excess of $100 million.