Pending home sales — deals involving existing homes where the contract has been signed, but the transaction hasn’t closed—were up slightly in October, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index was up 0.1 percent on a monthly basis, and 1.8 percent higher than October 2015.
“Most of the country last month saw at least a small increase in contract signings and more notably, activity in all four major regions is up from a year ago,” said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist. “Despite limited listings and steadfast price growth that’s now carried into the fall, buyer demand has remained strong because of the consistently reliable job creation in a majority of metro areas.”
The NAR also found evidence of what the limited housing inventory is doing to prices: 40 percent of sales were for list price or higher, compared to 33 percent a year earlier.
“Many of the successful shoppers in October likely had to move fast and outbid others for the few listings available in the affordable price range,” Yun said. “Those obtaining a mortgage last month were likely the last group of buyers to lock in a rate near historically low levels now that rates have marched to around 4 percent since the election.”