In October, pending sales sank, undoing gains the month prior, according to the latest National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index, based on contract signings.
“While contract signings have decreased, the overall economic landscape remains favorable,” explains Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Mortgage rates continue to be low at below 4 percent—which will attract buyers—employment levels are strong and many recession claims have dissipated.”
However, “we still need to address and, more importantly, correct inadequate levels of inventory across the country,” says Yun. “There is no shortage of buyers seeking homes, but a lack of available units continues to drag down the nation’s housing market and overall economy. We risk a lingering shortage of sufficient inventory if home-building only continues at its current pace over the next 20 years, when the U.S. population is projected to increase by more than 40 million over this period. Clearly, home builders must step in and construct more housing.”
According to data from realtor.com®, included in NAR’s update, demand is particularly strong in Fort Wayne, Ind.; Pueblo, Colo.; Columbus, Ohio; Rochester, N.Y.; and Lafayette, Ind., where for-sale homes hover in the $250,000 range.