Pending home sales down everywhere, except the South: S&P
Pending home sales nationwide are down for the second consecutive month, except for in the South where sales rose 1.4% between the months of December and January, according to a new report from Standard & Poor's. "This latest trend suggests that we are likely to see a slight decline in February's existing home sales because pending sales usually lead existing home sales by one to two months," said Standard & Poor's research analyst Erkan Erturk. S&P also released a report this week saying home prices have fallen 30% since hitting their peak levels in 2006, the largest national decline since the Great Depression. S&P says a National Association of Realtors report shows pending home sales nationally were down 2.8% in January from the previous month and 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. That decline followed a 3.2% drop between the months of November and December and a 2.8% year-over-year drop in December. January sales in the Midwest declined the most, plummeting 7.3% when compared to the previous month and 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. Meanwhile, sales in the West and Northeast fell nearly 1% and 3%, respectively, from last year. Write to Kerri Panchuk.