Pending Home Sales Rose in March

posted on May 4th, 2010 filed under: Real Estate Market Data

The number of houses going under contract rose in March, according to the Pending Home Sales Index maintained by the National Association of Realtors.

Nationally, the number of pending home sales rose 5.3% compared to February on a seasonally adjusted basis.

In the South, pending sales rose12.7%.  In the Northeast, pending sales fell 3.3%.

The index does not track activity on a local level, but real estate sales activity in Miami and Coral Gables has been on quite a tear.  (Remember, sales and prices are two very different things.)

It is generally believed that the April 30 expiration of the $8,000 government benefit for homebuyers is goosing sales.  The index for April, scheduled to be released on June 2, will be the last one reflecting sales spurred by that handout.  The index is then expected to drop sharply because the handout brought future sales forward, as happened late last year with the originally scheduled November 30 expiration of the credit.  Back then, pending sales peaked in October, because deals had to close by November 30.  This time, pending sales should peak in April, because the expiration was structured to require contracts by April 30 and closings by June 30.

Pending Home Sales Index (NAR) -- March 2010 -- Chart, Graph

An index level of 100 equals the level of pending sales in January 2001 when the data series began.

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posted by // This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 at 8:54 am and is filed under Real Estate Market Data. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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