After a stronger-than-expected surge through much of the fall season this year, homebuyers took a break in November.
Signed contracts to buy existing homes were flat for the month, up just 0.2 percent from October, according to the National Association of Realtors’ seasonally adjusted monthly index of pending home sales.
The index was 0.8 percent higher than November 2016, the first annual gain since last June. Pending sales are an indication of future closed sales in the next two months.
“The housing market is closing the year on a stronger note than earlier this summer, backed by solid job creation and an economy that has kicked into a higher gear,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR.
“Sales do have room for growth in most areas, but nationally, overall activity could be slightly negative. Markets with high home prices and property taxes will likely feel some impact from the reduced tax benefits of owning a home,” said Yun.
Pending home sales in the Northeast rose around 4.0% for the month and were about 1% above a year ago.
In the Midwest, sales increased around 1/2% monthly and almost 1.0% annually.