Market Feels Effects of Rising Rates, Pending Home Sales Pull Back

The housing market is feeling the effects of rising mortgage rates, with pending home sales pulling back to year-lows last month as homebuyers struggled to put purchases in play, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, dipped 2.5 percent to 107.3 in November, down from 110.0 in October.

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“The budget of many prospective buyers last month was dealt an abrupt hit by the quick ascension of rates immediately after the election,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Already faced with climbing home prices and minimal listings in the affordable price range, fewer home shoppers in most of the country were successfully able to sign a contract.”

All is not lost, however. Rising mortgage rates, according to Yun, will be balanced by a more robust growth in wages in the next year.

Looking ahead, existing-home sales are expected to come in at 5.52 million in 2017, while the national median existing-home price is expected to grow 4 percent.

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