New pending home sales decline, active contracts increase
There were 473 new approved contracts in December compared to 561 in November (a drop of approximately 15%) and 842 active contracts in December, up from 830 in November. “Lower mortgage rates balanced the traditional slower holiday season sales, but the current government shutdown will have some affect on the number of January closings,” said NETAR President Karen Randolph. “During the early part of the shutdown, there were issues with lenders getting Internal Revenue Service (IRS) salary confirmations for borrowers. Delays with U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) loans will likely have more impact on local closings since USDA is a primary local mortgage lender. However, since all-cash sales have been accounting for 25 to 30 percent of local sales, it is likely many of the approved contracts will not be affected by the shutdown,” she added.
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