Uptrend Continues in Pending Home Sales

Pending home sales are up for the fifth consecutive month, the first time in six years for such a streak, according to NAR.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in June, rose 3.6 percent to 94.6 from an upwardly revised reading of 91.3 in May, and is 6.7 percent above June 2008 when it was 88.7. The last time there were five consecutive monthly gains was in July 2003.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said a combination of positive market factors is fueling the gains. “Historically low mortgage interest rates, affordable home prices, and large selection are encouraging buyers who’ve been on the sidelines. Activity has been consistently much stronger for lower priced homes,” he said.

“Because it may take as long as two months to close on a home after signing a contract, first-time buyers must act fairly soon to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit because they must close on the sale by November 30,” Yun said.

Here are the regional figures from the Pending Home Sales Index:

The Northeast rose 0.4 percent to 81.2 in June and is 5.8 percent above a year ago.
The Midwest increased 0.8 percent to 89.9 and is 11.6 percent above June 2008.
The index in the South jumped 7.1 percent to 100.7 in June and is 8.9 percent higher than a year ago.
In the West, the index rose 2.9 percent to 100.4 but is 0.2 percent below June 2008.

Source: NAR

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