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US pending Home Sales figures, the silver lining on Monday

EURUSD News by Newsroom on 14:16 January 30, 2017 EST

Against a backdrop of fear in the stock market, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Monday showing that pending home sales increased by much more than expected in the month of December.

NAR reported its pending home sales index jumped 1.6% to 109.0 in December after sinking by 2.5% to 107.3 the previous month. Economists had expected pending home sales to increase by 0.6%. A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

There were very significant variations across price ranges with sales increasing close to 10% over the year for homes priced above $250,000, while a 11.6% decline in sales for homes priced below $100,000 was seen on the same period. The lack of supply at the lower end of the range was an factor in curbing sales.

Increases in the South and West offset weakening activity in the Northeast and Midwest.

Mortgage rates began to rise after Donald Trump's presidential win in November. Average 30-year fixed rate mortgages were 4.19 per cent last week, after averaging a low 3.65 per cent in 2016.