Economists, who are generally surprised by everything, were caught off guard once again.
Despite the fact that mortgage rates have been climbing for months, the economists' consensus expectation was for pending home sales to rise 0.5%. Not a single economist predicted a decline this month. The range of estimates was 0.3% to 2.0%.
Mortgage News Daily reports Pending Home Sales Reflect "Dispirited" Buyers.
Pending sales, which were widely expected to make a good showing in November, pulled back sharply instead. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contracts for existing home purchases, declined 2.5 percent to 107.3 in November from 110.0 in October. NAR said "the brisk upswing in mortgage rates and not enough inventory dispirited some would-be buyers." The decrease brought the PHSI to its lowest level since January of this year and it is now 0.4 percent below the index last November which stood at 107.7.