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The Week Ahead: What’s Next for Pending Home Sales?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) will release its data on pending home sales for February 2017 on Wednesday. NAR’s previous data for January showed a decrease of 2.8 percent month-over-month, and a 0.4 percent year-over-year increase.

"The significant shortage of listings last month along with deteriorating affordability as the result of higher home prices and mortgage rates kept many would-be buyers at bay," Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, said. "Buyer traffic is easily outpacing seller traffic in several metro areas and is why homes are selling at a much faster rate than a year ago. Most notably in the West, it's not uncommon to see a home come off the market within a month."

Existing-home sales are expected to hit 5.57 million in 2017, which is an increase of 2.2 percent from 2016, which was at 5.45 million. According to the report, the national median existing-home price this year is expected to increase around 4 percent. Existing sales increased 3.8 percent and prices rose 5.1 percent last year.

In the February report, Yun mentioned that interest in buying a home is the highest it’s been since the Great Recession. As the economy sees a spike in job growth and stocks, consumers are feeling more confident about their financial situation. However, consumers are facing obstacles in the buying process, especially with a lack of inventory and rising home prices.

"January's accelerated price appreciation is concerning because it's over double the pace of income growth and mortgage rates are up considerably from six months ago," said Yun. "Especially in the most expensive markets, prospective buyers will feel this squeeze to their budget and will likely have to come up with additional savings or compromise on home size or location."

The February 2017 Pending Home Sales Index will be released at 10 a.m. EST.

This Week’s Schedule

AEI/First American National Housing Market Index (NHMI), Monday, 11 a.m. EST

S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index (HPI), Tuesday, 9 a.m. EST

MBA Mortgage Applications, Wednesday, 7 a.m. EST

Freddie Mac Weekly Mortgage Survey, Thursday, 10 a.m. EST

About Author: Mirasha Brown

Mirasha Brown is a graduate of Florida A&M University and is pursuing a masters degree at Syracuse University. Born and raised in Florida, she has contributed to public relations and marketing campaigns for Rent The Runway and Billboard. She is a communications specialist with The Five Star and a contributing writer to DS News and MReport.
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