Pending Sales Level off as Inventories Shrink

by devteam April 29th, 2013 | Share

Home purchase contract signings slowed in March</balthough they remained slightly above February levels and well above contractrnsignings one year earlier.  The NationalrnAssociation of Realtors® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) released thisrnmorning showed the contract activity in March was up 1.5 percent in March torn105.7 compared to a downwardly revised (from 104.8) 104.1 in February.  The original February index was already downrn0.5 percent compared to January.   </p

The current PHSI is 7.0 percent above the index in Marchrn2012 of 98.8.  March was the 23rd</supmonth in which the index was above the level of the same period the previousrnyear.  </p

The PHSI is a forward-looking indicator based onrncontract signing.  The index base of 100rnis equal to thernaverage level of contract activity during 2001, the first year to bernexamined.   Arnpending sale is generally expected to close within one to two months.</p

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the marketrnappears to be leveling off.  “Contract activity has been in a narrow rangernin recent months, not from a pause in demand but because of limitedrnsupply.  Little movement is expected in near-term sales closings, but theyrnshould edge up modestly as the year progresses,” he said.  “Job additionsrnand rising household wealth will continue to support housing demand.”</p

NAR expects existing home sales to increase 6.5 to 7 percent in 2013rncompared to 2012 which would translate to nearly 5 million sales.  The national median existing-home price isrnprojected to rise about 7.5 percent.</p

Pending sales in the Northeast were unchanged from February at 82.8, a 6.3rnpercent increase on an annual basis.  Thernindex in the Midwest was up 0.3 percent to 103.8, 13.7 percent higher than inrnMarch 2012.  The South saw contractrnsignings increase 2.7 percent month-over-month to 120.0, 10.4 percent higherrnthan the previous year.  The index forrnthe West increased 1.5 percent to 102.9 but declined 4.3 percentrnyear-over-year.

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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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