Pending Home Sales Up in March. Stabilization Depends on REO Liquidation, Jobs, Regs

Wed, May 5, 2010

Articles, Residential

The National Association of Realtors released the Pending Home Sales Index data today.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index measures housing sales contract activity. A sale is listed as “pending” when a contract to purchase an existing home (single-family, condos, and co-ops) has been signed but the transaction has not closed. A signed contract is not counted as an actual existing home sale until the transaction closes.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. It is designed to be a leading indicator of housing activity. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly pending home sales parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

From the release…

Pending home sales increased again in March, affirming that a surge of home sales is unfolding for the spring home buying season.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in March, rose 5.3 percent to 102.9 from 97.7 in February, and is 21.1 percent above March 2009 when it was 85.0; this follows an 8.3 percent increase in February.


The Northeast declined 3.3 percent to 75.1 but remains 27.2 percent higher than March 2009

The Midwest increased 1.2 percent to 98.9 and is 18.5 percent above a year ago.

The South jumped 12.7 percent to an index of 121.2, which is 28.3 percent higher than March 2009.

The West index rose 1.9 percent to 99.9 and is 8.8 percent above a year ago.

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