Pending Home Sales Flatten as Seasonal Market Ends

by devteam October 25th, 2012 | Share

Pending home sales were flat inrnSeptember, inching up 0.3 percent on the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)rnmaintained by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).  The index rose from 99.2 in August torn99.5.  This is a 14.5 percent increasernfrom September 2011 when the index was 86.9.</p

Pending home sales have increased onrnan annual basis for 17 straight months and the year-over-year increase lastrnmonth were consistent across the country where all regions showed annual increases;rnin three regions those changes are in the double digits. The PHSI is arnforward-looking indicator measuring contracts for home purchases.  Signed contracts are generally expected tornclose in 60 to 90 days.</p

Lawrence Yun,rnNAR chief economist, said pending home sales continue to hold a higherrnground.  “Home contract activity remains at an elevated level in contrastrnwith recent years, but currently appears to be bouncing around in a narrowrnrange,” Yun said.  “This means only minor movement is likely in near-termrnexisting-home sales, but with positive underlying market fundamentals theyrnshould continue on an uptrend in 2013.”</p

NAR isrnpredicting that existing home sales will increase 10 percent in the fourthrnquarter of 2012 and 8.7 percent in 2013 to an annual total of 4.64 millionrnunits in 2012 and 5.05 million in 2013.  rnThe Association also expects housing starts to rise by 45.3 percent inrn2013.  The national median home price isrnexpected to increase 6 percent this year and 5 percent in 2013 due in part torntightening inventories.</p

Pending salesrnin the Northeast were up 1.4 percent to 79.3 in September, 26.1 percent higherrnthan a year ago.  In the Midwest the index fell 5.8 percent to 89.5 inrnSeptember but is 19.3 percent above September 2011.  Pending home sales inrnthe South increased 1.0 percent to an index of 111.5 in September and are 17.6rnpercent higher than a year ago.  In the West the index rose 4.3 percent inrnSeptember to 106.9, but is only 0.8 percent above September 2011.

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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