Home Sales Seen Rising into Summer Months: NAR
The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) released its March PendingrnHome Sales Index (PHSI). The index is said to be a leading indicator forrnthe housing sector; it measures sales activity based on sales of single-familyrnhomes, coops and condos where contracts have been signed but the transactionsrnhave not closed. </p
Excerpts From The Release…</p
March saw another increase in pendingrnhome sales, with contract activity rising unevenly in six of the past ninernmonths.</p
The Pending Home Sales Index rose 5.1rnpercent to 94.1 in March from a downwardly revised 89.5 in February. The PHSI in the Northeast fell 3.2rnpercent to 63.4 in March and is 18.4 percent below March 2010. In the Midwestrnthe index rose 3.0 percent in March to 83.5 but is 16.6 percent below a yearrnago. Pending home sales in the South jumped 10.3 percent to an index of 110.2rnbut are 10.5 percent below March 2010. In the West the index increased 3.1rnpercent to 103.7 but is 4.1 percent below a year ago.</p
The indexrnis 11.4 percent below 106.2 in March 2010; however, activity was at elevatedrnlevels in March and April of 2010 to meet the contract deadline for the homernbuyer tax credit. </p
LawrencernYun, NAR chief economist, said home sales activity has shown an uneven butrnnotable improvement. “Since reaching a cyclical bottom last June, pending homernsales have posted an overall gain of 24 percent and demonstrate the market isrnrecovering on its own,” he said. “The index means modest near-term gains inrnexisting-home sales are likely, which would be even stronger if tight mortgagernlending criteria returned to normal, safe standards.”</p
“Based on the current uptrend with veryrnfavorable affordability conditions, rising apartment rents and ongoing jobrncreation, existing-home sales should rise around 5 to 10 percent this year withrnsales growth of lower priced homes likely to outperform high-end homes. Thatrnmeans the price trend will reflect more homes sold in the lower price ranges,”rnYun said.</p
“The good news is that recent homernbuyers are staying well within budget, leading to exceptionally low loanrndefault rates among home buyers over the past two years,” Yun added.</p
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