Pending Home Sales Rise in September 2014

A better selection of homes offered for sale coupled with gently rising home prices boosted pending home sales in September.

Pending home sales rose 0.3% in September 2014, posting a positive gain for the first time in 11 months, data from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® show.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index showed the number of homes under contract to sell was also up 1% over September 2013.

Conditions are favorable for buyers thanks to the moderate pace at which home prices are rising coupled with more homes being offered for sale, said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

“Housing supply for existing homes was up in September 2014 6% from a year ago, which is preventing prices from rising at the accelerated clip seen earlier this year,” he said. “Additionally, the current spectacularly low mortgage rates should help more buyers reach the market.”

Despite improved housing conditions and low interest rates, tight credit conditions continue to be a barrier for some buyers.

About 15% of REALTORS® said they had at clients who couldn’t close on their home purchase because they were unable to get a mortgage.

Yun says credit may loosen next year when lenders are scheduled to start following a new federal rule on mortgage lending, called the Qualified Residential Mortgage rule.

“The rule provides clarity for lenders and is a win for creditworthy consumers by ensuring they continue to have access to safe and affordable loan products without overly burdensome downpayment requirements,” he said.

Pending Home Sales by Region

 September 2014September 2013
NationalUp 0.3%Up 1.0%
NortheastUp 1.2%Up 2.9%
MidwestDown 1.2%Down 4.0 %
SouthUp 1.4%Up 1.7%
WestDown 0.8%Up 3.6%