National Association of Home Builders economist Stephen Melman notes that the National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index decreased 0.9% in November, but remained 2.7% above the same month a year ago.
The sequential fall-off from October owes to seasonal slow-down that is normal, but as Melman notes, pending sales--a forward indicator of existing home sales--also hit speed bumps in the past couple of months due to new regulation. He writes:
Existing sales declined 10.5% in November. That steep decline was partially attributed to the implementation of The Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and not to a collapse in demand. Improving economic conditions and rising employment suggest a continuing recovery in existing sales.