Pending Home Sales are homes that have a purchase contract in place but have not yet closed. The National Association of Realtors released their data for August and it showed a year-over-year annual improvement of 13.1%.
When comparing August to July, pending home sales slipped but less than market forecasts. Economists expected Pending Home Sales to decrease month-over-month by -1.8%. The actual number was a little better at -1.2%. Hurricane Irene, which battered the Northeast at the end of the month, was likely a factor in the decline.
Three of four regions throughout the United States saw declines in the number of contracts to purchase previously owned homes. The Northeast region experienced the largest loss of 5.8 percent as a result of significant disruption by Hurricane Irene, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. Meanwhile, sales in Midwest and West also fell 3.7 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively. In contrast, a 2.6 percent gain in the South helped reduce the total loss of pending home sales in the month.