Pending Sales Dip 20% but Realtors See Dislocation as Temporary; Fed Not in a Hurry to Withdraw
Everyone knew that the March pending home sales report, the first real measure of the impact of the COVID-19 impact on the residential real estate markets, was going to be bad. It was that and more. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) dropped 20.8 percent compared to February, landing at 88.2. This was 16.3 percent below its level in March 2019. The PHSI, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts for purchase of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and cooperative apartments, was at 111.5 in February. Analysts had projected a significant decline in the index as many states has issued orders at various points during the month for non-essential businesses to close and residents to shelter at home. The consensus of analysts
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