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Number of contracts to buy homes decline in January, still at record highs

Pending Home Sales
Posted at 12:17 PM, Feb 25, 2021

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The number of people who signed contracts to buy homes in this country declined again in January as inventory struggles to keep up with demand. However, January still saw a record high number of pending home sales.

The National Association of Realtors’ index of pending home sales fell 2.8% to 122.8 from December to January. That is still 13% higher in January 2021 than in January 2020.

"Pending home sales fell in January because there are simply not enough homes to match the demand on the market," said Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors' chief economist. "That said, there has been an increase in permits and requests to build new homes."

December’s index, which was also a record high for that month, was revised upward by the NAR.

Yun added that there will be a "natural seasonal upswing" in inventory in the spring and summer.

"These trends, along with an anticipated ramp-up in home construction will provide for much-needed supply," Yun added.