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First Cut: NAR Pending Home Sales Index declines in April, but level still healthy

The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index declined 1.5% to 104.3 in April after 105.9 in March. Although the reading is lower than market expectations, it should not be considered a disappointment. With the exception of March, it is the strongest reading since 104.6 in September 2018. Sales have clearly responded to the recent declines in mortgage interest rates and consumers are moving to lock in affordable prices and loans while they can.

The unadjusted index rose 3.8% to 132.0 in April, its highest since 133.4 in May 2018. The unadjusted index has been on the rise for the past four months, also confirming that it mortgage rate declines which began to turn around after peaking in November 2018 are playing a part in reviving home sales.

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