Pending home sales down, yes down

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Boston Condos for Sale in 2022




Pending home sales down, yes down

Boston condo for sale buyers are still slowing their pandemic-fueled, contract-signing binge in response to the triple whammy of rising mortgage rates, high housing prices and low inventory.

The number of pending home sales dipped by 8.6 percent in June after a slight uptick in May, resuming the previous six months’ trend of declines, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed Wednesday.

June’s contract signings dropped a hefty 20 percent from last year. Meanwhile, housing was 80 percent more expensive than June 2019, taking mortgage rates into account.

The U.S. housing market has slowed thanks to a confluence of factors pushing housing prices and lending rates up, while both supply and household budgets are crimped by inflation.

“Contract signings to buy a home will keep tumbling down as long as mortgage rates keep climbing,” predicted NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. Contract signings are an indicator of sales in the months ahead.

While the drop in pending home sales last month pervaded the country, the West felt it most, with a 15.9 percent decrease from the previous month. That region also has the worst housing affordability, according to an NAR index that factors in prices and household income.

Evidence that the housing market is slowing has been cropping up across several indicators, such as the Case-Shiller home price index. Although home prices remain at historic highs, they may be plateauing based on a slight drop in the rate of increase last month

In an effort to rein in inflation, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates three times this year, leading to the higher cost of mortgages. The latest rate hike came today, when Fed Chair Jerome Powell announced a second 0.75 percentage point increase.

But, Yun said, current trends might soon end.

“There are indications that mortgage rates may be topping [out] or very close to a cyclical high in July,” said the economist. “If so, pending contracts should also begin to stabilize.”


Pending U.S. home sales slipped last month as prices remained high and supply continued to dry out.

Home contract signings fell in November after rising in the previous month, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors.

The month-over-month decline was seen in every region of the U.S. The Midwest had the biggest decrease, with contracts falling 6.3 percent from October. Still, the region was the only one where more deals were signed than were inked a year ago, although the increase was just 0.2 percent.

The dip can be attributed in part to low housing supply and hesitation surrounding home prices, said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. Delays caused by the omicron variant could stall the market as buyers and sellers become sidelined and construction is delayed, Yun added. More than 19 percent of New Yorkers’ Covid tests Tuesday came back positive.

“While I expect neither a price reduction nor another year of record-pace price gains, the market will see more inventory in 2022 and that will help some consumers with affordability,” Yun said.

Despite the drop in contracts, demand for homes remained high. These days, it takes roughly 18 days for homes to go into contract after being listed, Yun said.

“Buyer competition alone is unrelenting, but home seekers have also had to contend with the negative impacts of supply chain disruptions and labor shortages this year,” Yun said.

The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that the number of single-family homes put under agreement in June were down 16.0 percent over the same time last year, while condominiums were down 21.0 percent. This is the second month in a row that the number of both single-family homes and condominiums put under agreement has decreased compared to the year before.

From the MAR:

“June is following the same script as May with pending sales down after the expiration of the tax credit,” said 2010 MAR President Kevin Sears, broker/co-owner of Sears Real Estate in Springfield. “While we can anticipate the number of closed sales in June going up, the summer months will give us a better understanding of where the market is and whether affordable prices and interest rates below the five-percent range will keep the market moving along.

The number of single-family homes put under agreement in June was down 16.0 percent compared to the same time last year (5,153 homes in 2009 to 4,354 homes in 2010). On a month-to-month basis, single-family homes put under agreement were down 6.6 percent from 4,663 homes in May.

The number of condos put under agreement in June was down 21.0 percent compared to June 2009 (2,127 units in 2009 to 1,689 units in 2010). On a month-to-month basis, condos put under agreement were down 10.8 percent from 1,894 units in May.

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Boston Condos for Sale in 2022


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