The Pending Home Sales Index increased a slight 0.1% in October, but was 1.8% higher than last October. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased to 110.0 in October from a downwardly revised 109.9 in September.
The PHSI increased 1.6% in the Midwest, 0.7% in the West and 0.4% in the Northeast, but fell 1.3% in the South. Year-over-year, the PHSI increased in all regions, ranging from 3.9% in the Northeast to 0.8% in the South.
Commenting on the continued tight supply of homes for sale, NAR reported that 40% of October sales were at or above list price, compared to 33% last October. Existing sales increased in October, and builder confidence remained firm in November. These reports are good news for new residential construction as the housing recovery continues to address demand among first-time buyers and broadens across a wider range of markets during the balance of 2016 and into 2017.