Real Estate

January pending home sales show rush of contracts


Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

A sharp drop in mortgage interest rates brought homebuyers out in force in January, but rates have bounced back higher again, so the gains may be short-lived.

Signed contracts on existing homes jumped 8.1% last month compared with December, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s the second straight month of gains. Sales, however, were still 24% lower compared with January 2022.

The so-called “pending sales” are the most current indicator of housing demand, as it can take up to two months to close on a signed sale. Closed sales in January were lower because they were based on contracts signed in November and December, when mortgage rates were…


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