Since we are in a changing market, it is also important to look at price indicators that are closer to the point where the “meeting of the minds” occurs between buyers and sellers. As I indicated in a prior post on Matrix, the national housing stats for existing home sales (NAR) are based on closed sales and new home sales (Census) are based on contracts. The NAR also has an indicator based on contracts called the Pending Home Sales Index or PHSI [PDF]
Pending sales eased from last month but was at its second highest mark on record [RISMedia]
Whats really interesting about the stats is the difference between seasonally adjusted stats and the stats that were not seasonally adjusted. For example, the seasonally adjusted national numbers showed a 0.3% drop in contract prices while the unadjusted numbers showed a 12.7% drop. Quite a difference betweent the results. Annual changes were up 3.3% seasonally adjusted and up 2.7% unadjusted.
At the end of the day, these numbers tell us that contract prices, as a leading indicator, were slightly weaker nationwide compared to the prior month.