Pending home sales plunged 16.0% to a reading of 96.0 in November from a revised 3.9% gain to 114.3 in October, originally reported as a 3.7% rise to 114.1, according to an index released today by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Thomson Reuters’ poll of economists had predicted a 111.8 reading.
Year-over-year the pending homes sales index was up 15.5% from last November, when the index was 83.1.
Regionally, pending sales were lower. The Northeast saw a 25.7% decrease to 74.4, while sales sank 25.7% to 82.0 in the Midwest. In the South sales decreased 15.0% to 97.8, while in the West, pending sales dropped 2.7% to 124.6.
“It will be at least early spring before we see notable gains in sales activity as home buyers respond to the recently extended and expanded tax credit,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “The fact that pending home sales are comfortably above year-ago levels shows the market has gained sufficient momentum on its own. We expect another surge in the spring as more home buyers take advantage of affordable housing conditions before the tax credit expires,” he said