Dec
29

More Contracts Signed Last Month Than Since 2010

December 29, 2011

Here’s a good real estate stat on which to end out the year: Pending home sales in November reached the highest level in 19 months.

The National Association of Realtors® on Thursday released the Pending Home Sales Index to show a 7.3 percent increase last month to 100.1 from 93.3 in October.

It is now 5.9 percent above the 94.5 rate recorded in November 2010.

picture of a pen, paper with the word signature and a line and a keyThe index measures future activity because it’s based on contract signings not closings.

The last time the index was higher than that was in April 2010, at the end of the Home Buyer Tax Credit program, when it reached 111.5.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the gains may be partly from delayed transactions. “Housing affordability conditions are at a record high and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who’ve been on the sidelines, but contract failures have been running unusually high,” he said. “Some of the increase in pending home sales appears to be from buyers recommitting after an initial contract ran into problems, often with the mortgage.”

The Midwest, which saw an index increase of 3.3 percent to 91.6 in November, is faring the best in year-over-year results and is 9.5 percent above the rate during the same time last year.

Pending home sales in the Northeast rose 8.1 percent to 77.1 but are 0.3 percent below November 2010. The South rose 4.3 percent to 103.8 and is 8.7 percent above last November’s numbers. The West jumped 14.9 percent to 121.2 but is only 2.9 percent higher than a year ago.

“November is doing reasonably well in comparison with the past year,” said Yun. “The sustained rise in contract activity suggests that closed existing-home sales, which are the important final economic impact figures, should continue to improve in the months ahead.”

Categories: Economy

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