Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for December. It showed that pending home sales declined notably, with the seasonally adjusted national index falling 4.3% from November but increasing 6.9% above the level seen in December 2011.
Meanwhile, the NARs chief economist Lawrence Yun suggests that while supply limitations may be negatively influencing contract activity, buyer foot traffic is strong:
The supply limitation appears to be the main factor holding back contract signings in the past month. Still, contract activity has risen for 20 straight months on a year-over-year basis ... Buyer interest remains solid, as evidenced by a separate Realtor survey which shows that buyer foot traffic is easily outpacing seller traffic.
The following chart shows the seasonally adjusted national pending home sales index, along with the percent change on a year-over-year basis as well as the percent change from the peak set in 2005 (click for larger version).