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U.S. pending home sales tick higher in September

Staff Writer |
U.S. pending home sales unexpectedly rose in September, according to the latest figures from the National Association of Realtors.

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The NAR's monthly index rose 0.5% to 104.6 from 104.1 in August, beating expectations for a 0.1% drop. However, year-over-year contract signings dropped 1%, marking the ninth straight month of annual decreases.

The NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said that even though we are still seeing year-over-year declines, the latest monthly increase is a good, stabilising trend. "This shows that buyers are out there on the sidelines, waiting to jump in once more inventory becomes available and the price is right," he said.

"When compared to the year 2000, when the housing market was considered very healthy, and home sales figures were roughly equivalent and the affordability conditions were much lower compared to now. So even though affordability has been falling recently, the demand for housing should remain steady."

Regionally, pending home sales in the Northeast dropped 0.4% to 92.3 in September, while sales in the Midwest rose 1.2% to 102.4. In the South, sales fell 1.4% to 119.6 while sales in the West were up 4.5% to 93.1 last month.

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