Sept. pending home sales plunge 14%


TRI-CITIES, Tenn.  – Rising mortgage rates and low inventory combined with seasonality to push pending home sales down 14 percent in September.  The effect will be a continuation of existing-home sales retreating to pre-pandemic levels.

Buyers accepted 109 fewer contracts than they did last month and 64 fewer than this time last year. At mid-year, the total was 688.

Pending sales represent homes that have a signed purchase contract but have not closed. Accepted contracts typically close in a month to six weeks.

NETAR’s Pending Sales Index dropped 17 points from the previous month. It’s down 10 points from September last year. The index removes some of the noise from the monthly raw numbers and benchmarks how the market is performing against a pre-pandemic baseline. The index is a forward-looking indicator based on the 2018 annual average for signed contracts instead of closings. An index of 100 is equal to the pre-pandemic accepted contracts level. An index of over 100 is the percentage increase, below 100 is a decline.

September’s mid-month report also revised the number of closings upward. And there was a small increase in the average and median sales prices. Mid-month data typically see increases after closings filed too late for the first-of-the-month tally are added. Last month’s revision added 32 closings to the sales total and $5,000 to the median sales price. The new sales total is 657, down 14 percent from last year, and the new median price is $265,000, up 13 percent from last year.

Sellers reduced the median asking price by $14,500 last month and the percentage of discounted sales was 51 percent. The average discount increased to $19,743 from $17,237 in August.

There were 209 pending sales in the affordable homes market last month. That’s 58 fewer than there were in August and nine more than last year.

There was also a small gain in the move-up market. It increased by two contracts – from the August total . Sept. was down 23 from last year. The move-up price range that posted an increase was $300K-399,999. It increased 18 percent from last year.

Accepted contracts in the Luxury Market increased 59 percent in September. There were 78 new pending sales in the $500K and above market.


Categories: REAL ESTATE