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Contract Signings Second Lowest in 17 Months

Monday, February 29, 2016

Pending home sales kicked off 2016 by declining nationally and in three of the country's four regions.  The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said that its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) declined 2.5 percent in January to 106.0.  The indicator, based on signings for home purchase contracts was higher than the index in January 2015 by 1.4 percent.

The unexpected decline - the consensus of analysts was for a 0.5 percent increase - was offset a bit by an upward revision in the December index which went from the 106.8 originally estimated, a 0.1 percent increase, to 108.7, a 0.9 percent gain.

NAR said the index has increased year-over-year for 17 straight months but the January gain was second only to that of September 2014 as the smallest over that period.  The average for the index for all of 2015, 108.9, was the highest since it hit 111.7 in 2006 and it was 8.0 percent higher than the average in 2014.  

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