Last Friday the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that their gauge of Pending Home Sales dropped 1.8% in September from an upwardly revised August reading. The pending sales index reflects signed contracts. Since it typically takes a few months to get from contract to closing, this reading forecasts actual existing home sales toward the end of this year.

The NAR’s chief economist made an insightful point: “We’ve added 30 million people to the U.S. population over the past ten years, but sales are where they were in 2000, so there appears to be a sizable pent-up demand that could come to the market once the economy gathers momentum.” Other analysts commented that “decade low mortgage rates and near record highs in affordability should help stabilize sales in the near term, however it will take meaningful improvement in the labor market to drive housing going forward.”

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