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Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The housing boom marches on as Americans rush to enter into contracts on new homes, according to fresh data out Monday from the National Association of Realtors.

The big picture: Contract signings increased 7.5% in October from September, representing a month-over-month increase in all regions, according to NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index.

Yes, but: Signings were 1.4% lower versus a year ago.

What they’re saying: "Motivated by fast-rising rents and the anticipated increase in mortgage rates, consumers that are on strong financial footing are signing contracts to purchase a home sooner rather than later," Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said in a statement.

  • "The notable gain in October assures that total existing-home sales in 2021 will exceed 6 million, which will shape up to be the best performance in 15 years."

What we're watching: Yun expects home prices to rise more slowly and overall demand to cool off a bit as mortgage rates increase.

Go deeper

Hope King, author of Closer
Jan 13, 2022 - Economy & Business

Housing gap worsens through pandemic

Data: Zillow analysis of data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA); Map: Baidi Wang/Axios

The gap between denial rates for Black mortgage applicants and white applicants grew by 10 percentage points between 2019 and 2020, analysis of the latest federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data from Zillow shows.

Why it matters: The report out today provides more evidence that the pandemic is impacting Black Americans disproportionately.

Retail sales slipped a surprising 1.9% in December

Shoppers in San Francisco on Dec. 22. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Retail sales fell 1.9% in December compared to the previous month, suggesting that shoppers bought holiday gifts earlier last year as they faced rising inflation and supply chain issues.

Driving the news: The data is much lower than the 0% change predicted by economists, according to FactSet.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Peloton's wild ride and possible buyers

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Peloton is having a bumpy ride, and has become a source of fascination among even those who've never invested or clipped in.

Driving the news: On Monday, a hedge fund with less than a 5% stake in Peloton called for CEO John Foley to be fired and for the connected fitness company to consider seeking a strategic buyer. Shares gained nearly 10% on the news, but remained down 16.2% for the year and off 80% their December 2020 peak.