Pending home sales in the U.S declined for the fourth consecutive month in September (and rose in Pasadena), as higher mortgage interest rates and higher home prices curbed buying power, according to the National Association of Realtors®. In addition there was growing insecurity over lawmakers’ inability to agree on a budget and that hurt consumer confidence.
• The sales index in the western states dropped 9.0 percent in September to 97.3, and is 9.8 percent lower than September 2012.
• On the other hand, Pasadena’s Pending Sale Index increased for the second straight month, and the third increase in the last four months.
• The Pasadena Sale Index increased by 4.55% in September and,
• is nearly 16% higher than September 2012.
Clearly, Pasadena outperforms the national market.
The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the real estate market. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed. The sale is usually finalized within one or two months of signing, so the Index parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months. This indicates lower home sales for the fourth quarter.
Even so, ongoing inventory shortages will continue to increase home prices in the country, though at a slower single-digit growth rate next year.
• Total existing-home sales nationwide this year are expected to be 10 percent higher than 2012, and are likely to hold even in 2014.
• The national median existing-home price is expected to rise 11 to 11.5 percent for all of 2013, but moderate to a 5 to 6 percent gain in 2014.
As far as Pasadena inventory goes,
• the city added 220 new listings in September while 145 sold.
• Counting those that went off the market unsold, our local inventory increased by eight properties from August, or 2.67%.
• Inventory a year ago was at 320 homes. The level of inventory in Pasadena is at 2.1 months at the end of September as compared to 2.2 months a year ago.
• Pasadena prices are up around 31% from last September.
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