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First Cut: NAR Pending Home Sales Index rises in August with increases across regions

The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index rose 1.6% in August from July to 107.3 after 105.6. The increase beat out the median market expectation handily. The index was 2.5% above the 104.7 in August 2018. The increase in contracts signed — but not yet closed — pointed to another month of good sales for existing units when the NAR releases the September numbers on Tuesday, October 22 at 10:00 ET.

Pending sales were up across regions with the largest gain in the West (up 3.1%), followed by the Northeast (up 1.4%), South (also up 1.4%), and Midwest (up 0.7%).

Consumers remained active in the housing market in August as mortgage interest rates continued their recent declines. September may not look quite to positive with greater economic uncertainty, lower consumer confidence, and a fairly sharp uptick in rates in the early part of the month.

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