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Pending home sales on the rise

Posted on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 10:27:33 AM

Pending home sales didn't undergo radical changes in December 2015, but they did see a marginal improvement based on the strength of housing markets in the Northeast, the National Association of Realtors reported. The organization's Pending Home Sales Index ticked up 0.1 percent to 106.8 in December, up 4.2 percent from one year before. 

"The silver lining from the market turmoil in recent weeks is the fact that mortgage rates have slightly declined," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Buyers looking to close on a home before the spring buying season begins may be rewarded with a mortgage rate at or below 4 percent."

Current forecasts call for existing-home sales to be around 5.34 million in 2016, or about a 1.5 percent improvement on last year's sales. Prices are also expected to moderate. In 2015, existing-home sale prices rose by a prohibitive 6.8 percent. This year, they are projected to increase somewhere between 4 and 5 percent, according to the NAR. 

Though CoreLogic reported home prices were up 6.3 percent year-over-year in December 2015, that isn't what 2016 will produce. Most analysts agree that for those with residential financing, this year - particularly these few early months - are a great time to purchase a home.