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

National News
Pending Home Sales

FILE – In this Sept. 29, 2020 file photo, a sale pending sign is displayed outside a residential home for sale in East Derry, N.H. The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes fell for the second straight month as lack of available homes continue to stifle house hunters. The National Association of Realtors said Monday, Nov. 30 that its index of pending sales fell 1.1%, to 128.9 in October, down from a reading of 130.3 in September. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

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.

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