By Kate Davidson
WASHINGTON--Pending home sales climbed in early 2020 following a dip in December, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Here are highlights from the report:
--January pending home sales -- contract signings for purchases of previously owned homes -- increased 5.2%. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 2% rise.
--Pending home sales were up 5.7% last month from a year earlier.
--Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said low mortgage rates and solid economic growth helped boost sales activity last month, though he added, "We are still lacking in inventory." December and January's combined supply was at the lowest level since 1999, he said.
--Mr. Yun also said the recent stock market sell-off could provide even lower mortgage rates for a few weeks. "That would help bring about a noticeable upturn in the coming months," he said.
--The housing market has stabilized since the middle of last year following a slump that began at the end of 2018. Other recent housing data have been mixed: New-home sales, which make up a relatively narrow slice of all U.S. home sales, increased 7.9% last month, the strongest pace in 13 years, while sales of previously owned homes declined 1.3% in January, NAR said last week.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 27, 2020 10:14 ET (15:14 GMT)
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