Contract signings fell 5.7 percent month over month in January, the third consecutive month of decline, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Housing inventory is at an all-time low. The Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on contract signings and is a forward-looking predictor of home sales, is down 9.5 percent from a year ago. Annual activity decreased in each of the United States’ four primary areas. “Buyers are still having a hard time locating a home,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.
According to Freddie Mac, house buyers are also dealing with rising home prices and rising mortgage rates, which have jumped by more than a full percentage point in the previous six months. “Given the current market conditions—mortgages, housing prices, and inventory—it would be prudent to do so.”
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