Ekonomické zprávy

U.S. pending home sales unexpectedly plunge in March

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on Thursday its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index (PHSI) declined 5.2 percent m-o-m to 78.9 in March, following a downwardly revised flat m-o-m reading (from +0.8 percent m-o-m) in February. That was the first drop in the indicator since November 2022 (-3.2 percent m-o-m).

Economists had foreseen pending home sales to increase 0.5 percent m-o-m in March.

On a y-o-y basis, the index plunged 23.2 percent after an unrevised 21.1 percent tumble in February. This marked the 22nd consecutive y-o-y drop in pending home sales.

According to the report, three of four major U.S. regions saw m-o-m declines in pending home sales operations in March, and all of them witnessed y-o-y retreats.

The indicator gauging pending home sales transactions in the Midwest posted the largest m-o-m fall in March of 10.7 percent. On a y-o-y basis, the Midwest PHSI plummeted by 21.5 percent. It was followed by the Northeast PHSI, which logged a slump of 8.1 percent m-o-m. In y-o-y terms, the indicator tumbled by 24.3 percent. The West PHSI plunged by 8.0 percent m-o-m and 32.2 percent y-o-y. Meanwhile, the South PHSI increased by 0.2 percent m-o-m but dropped by 19.8 percent y-o-y.

Commenting on the latest report, Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, noted that the lack of housing inventory is a major constraint to rising sales. "Multiple offers are still occurring on about a third of all listings, and 28% of homes are selling above list price. Limited housing supply is simply not meeting demand nationally," he added.

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