Pending home sales jumped by a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in May but were 0.7% lower than a year ago, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. The May increase beat the consensus forecast for a 0.6% rise.
NAR’s index, which tracks home-contract signings, has seesawed up and down every month this year, but through the noise, it’s clear that the housing market is shuffling. May marked the 17th straight month of annual declines.
Contract signings precede closings by about 45-60 days, so the index is a leading indicator for upcoming existing-home sales reports.
In May, pending sales in the Northeast were 3.5% higher, and in the Midwest, they were 3.6% higher. In the West, they dropped 1.8%. In the South, they edged up 0.1%, but were slightly higher than year-ago levels, the only region in which that was the case in May.