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06-29-20 | Economic News

Pending Home Sales Jump for Month

Still Playing Catch Up Though

Pending sales rose by double-digits in every region, with the South, Midwest and West having to almost be back to prior-peak levels.

Pending Home Sales, which are based on signed contracts for single-family as well as condo sales, surged 44.3% in May. These tend to lead existing sales by 30 to 45 days meaning a bounce in existing sales is likely just around the corner. And the steady growth in purchase mortgage applications backs this up even more.

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Over the year however, pending sales are down 5.1% and off almost 11% from the peak reached in February.

Regionally all four regions improved by double digits in May. But the Northeast, due in part to the early onslaught of COVID cases it suffered, is still about 36% below February's level, which the Wells Fargo Economics group feels could point to trouble down the road for the Sun Belt areas that are now pandemic hotspots.

The group stated, "The surge in sales, which was well ahead of expectations, is the latest evidence that the housing market is fully on the path to recovery (and) the above-consensus gain indicates that many sales were likely delayed, as opposed to canceled, as a result of the lockdowns."

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