The pending home sales index has been flat and has not been in line with the strength of final sales of existing homes. This may limit the impact of today's report where the November index managed only a 0.2 percent gain to a 109.5 level that is still below last year's levels. In contrast, existing home sales, at a 5.810 million annualized rate in data released last week for November, are at the highest level of the economic expansion. The pending index is up only 0.8 percent vs this time last year, again well below final sales where the year-on-year gain is 3.8 percent.
The regional breakdown in today's report shows small declines in the West and South, a small gain for the Midwest and a sharp 4.1 percent jump for the Northeast where home sales, both resales and new home sales, have been showing marked acceleration.
Housing data in general have been accelerating strongly going into year end but the pending home sales index, though it did rise a sharp 3.5 percent in last month's report for October, has been mostly an exception.