Pending home sales up in the US for 18th month in a row
|Friday, 30 November 2012|
Pending home sales in the United States rose strongly in October with mixed regional results, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors.
Its Pending Home Sales Index, a forward looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 5.2% to 104.8 in October from an upwardly revised 99.6 in September and is 13.2% above October 2011 when it was 92.6. The data reflect contracts but not closings.
Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist, said buyers are responding to favourable market conditions. We've had very good housing affordability conditions for quite some time, but we're seeing more impact now from steady job creation, and rising consumer confidence about home buying now that home prices have clearly turned positive,ђ he explained.
Outside of a few spikes during the tax credit period, pending home sales are at the highest level since March 2007 when the index also reached 104.8. On a year non year basis, pending home sales have risen for 18 consecutive months.
Yun added that there are clear regional patterns. Contract activity surged in the Midwest and is showing very healthy gains in the South, but was down slightly in both the Northeast and West,ђ he said.
The Northeast saw some impact from Hurricane Sandy, but limited inventory in the West is keeping a lid on the market. All regions are up from a year ago, with double digit gains in every region but the West, Yun added.
The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 0.1% to 79.2 in October but is 13.3% above a year ago. In the Midwest the index jumped 15.6% to 104.4 in October and is 20% above October 2011. Pending home sales in the South rose 5.5% to an index of 117.3 in October and are 17.4% higher than a year ago. In the West the index declined 1.1% in October to 105.7, but is 0.9% above October 2011.
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