Pending home sales remained at an index reading of 106.0 in September, after a revision to August’s level, according to a report released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.

The September read was the lowest since January 2015.

The August reading was initially reported as a 2.5% decline to 106.3.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001.

Year-over-year the pending homes sales index decreased 3.5% from last September, when the index was 104.7.

Economists polled by IFR Markets predicted the index would be at 106.5.

Regionally, pending sales were mostly higher. The Northeast saw a 1.2% rise to 94.5, while sales gained 1.4% to 102.89in the Midwest and sales slid 2.3% in the South to 115.9. Sales rose 1.9% in the West to 102.7.

“Demand exceeds supply in most markets, which is keeping price growth high and essentially eliminating any savings buyers would realize from the decline in mortgage rates from earlier this year,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “While most of the country, except for the South, did see minor gains in contract signings last month, activity is falling further behind last year’s pace because new listings aren’t keeping up with what’s being sold.”

“Hurricane Irma’s direct hit on Florida weighed on activity in the South, but similar to how Houston has rebounded after Hurricane Harvey, Florida’s strong job and population growth should guide sales back to their pre-storm pace fairly quickly,” Yun said.

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.