Pending home sales, a measurement of homes on which contracts have been signed, fell 12.2 percent to a level of 89.9 in July, from a June index score of 102.4, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That number is 16.1 percent lower than the pending home sales index of 107.1 recorded in July 2006.
An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year the index was examined by the NAR. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed.
“It’s difficult to fully account for mortgage disruptions in the index, and our members are telling us some sales contracts aren’t closing because mortgage commitments have been falling through at the last moment,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist.
Regionally, the index declined 6.6 percent month-over-month to 104 in the South and 12.2 percent to 84.3 in the Northeast. The Midwest saw its index fall 13.1 percent to 80.4, and in the West, the index fell 20.8 percent to 82.3.