Dec 1, 2023 - Economy

Pending home sales neared record low in October as mortgages approached 8%

Data: National Association of Realtors, FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: National Association of Realtors, FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Pending home sales just hit their lowest point in history, outside the first months of the COVID crisis when the economy nearly ground to a halt.

Why it matters: Pending home sales, or deals that have gone into contract, are a leading indicator for activity in the U.S. housing market.

  • The October data means that actual home sales, which are also near record lows, will continue to be sluggish for the next few months.

What we're watching: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate declined sharply in November, so that could entice a few more buyers back into the market.

  • The average mortgage is now at about 7.2%, after stretching toward a sky-high 8% in October.
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