Record 7-Month Streak for Pending Home Sales
Pending home sales have increased for seven straight months, the longest in the series of the index which began in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in August, rose 6.4% to 103.8 from a reading of 97.6 in July, and is 12.4% above August 2008 when it was 92.4. The index is at the highest level since March 2007 when it was 104.5.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said not all contracts are turning into closed sales within an expected timeframe. “The rise in pending home sales shows buyers are returning to the market and signing contracts, but deals are not necessarily closing because of long delays related to short sales, and issues regarding complex new appraisal rules,” he said. “No doubt many first-time buyers are rushing to beat the deadline for the $8,000 tax credit, which expires at the end of next month.”