econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 31 August 2016

July 2016 Pending Home Sales Index Improves?

Written by Steven Hansen

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) seasonally adjusted pending home sales index again increased. For the second month in a row, our analysis of pending home sales is more negative than the NAR's, and we are forecasting little growth in August existing home sales. The quote of the day from this NAR release:

... There's little doubt there'd be more sales activity right now if there were more affordable listings on the market ...

Analyst Opinion of Pending Home Sales

I do not understand how the unadjusted numbers are contracting year-over-year, whilst the adjusted numbers are expanding year-over-year. I know of no other index used today where this is ever true. Many agencies use the unadjusted numbers to provide year-over-year growth. In any event, this was not a good report BUT historically the August existing home sales have a higher growth than what the July pending home sales index would indicate. However Econintersect is forecasting little year-over-year growth for August existing home sales.

Pending home sales are based on contract signings, and existing home sales are based on the execution of the contract (contract closing).

The NAR reported:

  • Pending home sales index was up 1.3 % month-over-month and up 1.4 % year-over-year.
  • The market was expecting month-over-month growth of -1.8 % to 1.4 % (consensus +0.6 %) versus the growth of 1.3 % reported.

Econintersect's evaluation using unadjusted data:

  • the index growth rate was down 1.6 % month-over-month and down 2.2 % year-over-year.
  • The current trends (using 3 month rolling averages) are declining and now is in contraction..
  • Extrapolating the pending home sales unadjusted data to project August 2016 existing home sales would be a 0.1 % expansion year-over-year for existing home sales.

Unadjusted 3 Month Rolling Average of Year-over-Year Growth for Pending Home Sales (blue line) and Existing Home Sales (red line)

z pending2.png

From Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist:

.... a sizable jump in the West lifted pending home sales higher in July. Amidst tight inventory conditions that have lingered the entire summer, contract activity last month was able to pick up at least modestly in a majority of areas. More home shoppers having success is good news for the housing market heading into the fall, but buyers still have few choices and little time before deciding to make an offer on a home available for sale. There's little doubt there'd be more sales activity right now if there were more affordable listings on the market.

The index in the West last month was the highest in over three years largely because of stronger labor market conditions. If homebuilding increases in the region to tame price growth and alleviate the ongoing affordability concerns, the healthy rate of job gains should support more sales.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) pending home sales index offers a window into predicting existing home sales. The actual home sale might appear in the month the contract was signed (cash buyers can close quickly), or in the following two months.

Econintersect forecasts unadjusted existing home sales by offsetting the pending home sales index one month. This forecast suggests unadjusted existing home sales of 505,000 in July 2016.

Using Pending Home Sales to Predict Existing Homes Sales - Unadjusted Existing Home Sales (blue line) & Predictive Forecast Using Pending Home Sales Index (red line)

z pending1.PNG

Using this methodology, 550,000 existing home unadjusted sales were forecast for July 2016 versus the actual reported number of 514,000 (which is subject to further revision).

Unadjusted Year-over-Year Change in Existing Home Sales Volumes (blue line), 3 month rolling average (red line)

z existing1.PNG

Keeping things real - home sales volumes are only 2/3rds of previous levels.

Caveats on the Use of Pending Home Sales Index

According to the NAR:

NAR's Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) is released during the first week of each month. It is designed to be a leading indicator of housing activity.

The index measures housing contract activity. It is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. A signed contract is not counted as a sale until the transaction closes. Modeling for the PHSI looks at the monthly relationship between existing-home sale contracts and transaction closings over the last four years.

…… When a seller accepts a sales contract on a property, it is recorded into a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as a "pending home sale." The majority of pending home sales become home sale transactions, typically one to two months later.

NAR now collects pending home sales data from MLSs and large brokers. Altogether, we receive data from over 100 MLSs & 60 large brokers, giving us a large sample size covering 50% of the EHS sample. This is equal to 20 percent of all transactions.

In other words, Pending Home Sales is an extrapolation of a sample equal to 20% of the whole. Econintersect uses Pending Home Index to forecast future existing home sales.

Econintersect reset the forecasting of existing home sales using the pending home sales index coincident with November 2011 Pending home sales analysis (see here) - as the NAR in November revised the historical existing home sales data.

The Econintersect forecasting methodology is influenced by the speed at which closings occur. When they slow down in a particular period - this method overestimates. The number of cash buyers are speeding up the process (cash buyers analysis here). A quick cash home sale process could begin and end in the same month. On the other hand, contracts for short sales can sometimes take months to close. Interpreting the pending home sales data is complicated by weighing offsetting effects in the current abnormal market.

Please note that Econintersect uses unadjusted data in its analysis.

Econintersect determines the month-over-month change by subtracting the current month's year-over-year change from the previous month's year-over-year change. This is the best of the bad options available to determine month-over-month trends - as the preferred methodology would be to use multi-year data (but the New Normal effects and the Great Recession distort historical data).



>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<



Permanent link to most recent post on this topic

Click here for Historical Releases Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.







Econintersect Economic Releases


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
The Devil's Advocate - There ARE Recession Warning Flags
The Theory of the Monetary Circuit: A Critique
News Blog
I'm Adopted
August 2016 Leading Index Review: Little Good News
Fed Hold No Surprise
Global Growth And Inflation Remain Low Initial Impact Of Brexit Is Muted
Infographic Of The Day: Fast Facts On Coffee Consumption
The Dallas Pension System Embraces Risk With Alternative Assets
Early Headlines: G-7 Inflat. Linked Bonds Indicate Deflation, Fracking Effic. Increasing, Cat. 5 Hurricane, Honest Economist Traitor In Greece, China Mfg Firms And More
Facebook Apps Most Popular, Google Has Strongest Overall Presence
The Months Of The Year With The Most Births
Blackberry Quits Smartphone Production
New Water Plumes From Jupiter's Moon Europa Raise Hopes Of Detecting Microbial Life
The Top U.S. Metro Areas For Startup Growth
What We Read Today 30 September 2016
Investing Blog
A New Lifeline For Nuclear
Investing.com Weekly Wrap-Up 30 September 2016
Opinion Blog
Monetary Theory Gets Taken To School
First: 'Over-Population End-of Times' Now: 'Shrinking Population Disaster'
Precious Metals Blog
Where Silver Prices Are Headed Now After Fed's Latest Inaction
Live Markets
30Sep2016 Market Close: Markets Teetering On Investor Doubt, Will Collapse Of Deutsche Bank Matter, US Dollar Headed South Along With Gold, Higher Crude Prices Sure To Take Market Down
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government



Crowdfunding ....






























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved