NAR sees promise, but hold off on fireworks for now

Pending home sales in the U.S. rose again in November, with the broad trend over the past five months indicating a gradual recovery into 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The Pending Home Sales Index rose 3.5 percent to 92.2 based on contracts signed in November from 89.1 in October, the NAR said.

The index is 5.0 percent below a reading of 97.0 in November 2009.  The data reflect contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.  (That’s why the NAR mis-characterizes the index as “forward looking.”)  Commented NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun:

In addition to exceptional affordability conditions, steady improvements in the economy are helping bring buyers into the market.  But further gains are needed to reach normal levels of sales activity.

If we add 2 million jobs as expected in 2011, and mortgage rates rise only moderately, we should see existing-home sales rise to a higher, sustainable volume

If, if. . .  If, indeed!

Let’s hope he’s right and expect that he’s not.

I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than depressingly disappointed.  Wouldn’t you?

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

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Number of signed contracts falls in June

Pending home sales edged down in June, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which forecast near-term sales in the U.S. notably lower than during the months that approached expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, declined 2.6 percent to 75.7 based on contracts signed in June from an upwardly revised level of 77.7 in May.  It was 18.6 percent below June 2009. Commented Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist: Continue reading