Pending Home Sales at 30-Month Low | South Salem Homes

 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Thursday morning released its data  on pending sales of existing homes in February. The pending home sales index  fell 0.8% from a downwardly revised index reading of 94.7 in January to the  February reading of 93.9. That is 10.5% lower than in February 2013, when the  index reading was 104.9. The consensus estimate called for a month-over-month  decrease of 0.8% in pending sales. The index reflects signed contracts, not  sales closings. An index reading of 100 equals the average level of contract  signings during 2001.

Total existing home sales are expected to come to 5 million, below the 2013  total of 5.1 million. National median home prices are forecast to rise by about  5.5% to 6.0% this year, but existing home inventory levels need to increase to  help keep prices in check. The median price forecast is slightly higher than  last month’s forecast. Home prices rose 11.5% in 2013.

The NAR’s chief economist noted:

Contract signings for the past three months have been little changed,  implying the market appears to be stabilizing. Moreover, buyer traffic  information from our monthly Realtor® survey shows a modest turnaround, and some  weather delayed transactions should close in the spring.

Pending home sales in the northeastern United States declined 2.4% in  January, posting an index reading of 77.1, down 7.4% from February 2013. The  index rose 2.8% in the Midwest but remains 8.5% below last year’s reading. Sales  fell 4% in the South and rose by 2.3% in the West. Compared with February 2013,  all regions are down.

Pending home sales do not have the economic impact of new home sales, which employ  thousands of people in building and furnishing new homes. But it does give some  indication of the market for housing

Read more:  Pending Home Sales at 30-Month Low – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/housing/2014/03/27/pending-home-sales-at-30-month-low/#ixzz2xGWrwkK4

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