The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its November Pending Home Sales Index and the news is good. The numbers are up for the third consecutive month and have increased 9.8% since the same time last year. The report shows the index hasn’t reached a similar level since April 2010 and NAR analysts say the improvement is based on affordability and fundamental demand. The index is used to forecast performance in the U.S. housing market and is based on contract signings, and is also projecting a 4% increase in median home prices for 2013. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.
Pending home sales in the United States increased in November for the third straight month and reached the highest level in two and a half years, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors.
Its Pending Home Sales Index, a forward looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 1.7% to 106.4 in November and is 9.8% above November 2011.
The index is at the highest level since April 2010 when it hit 111.3 as buyers were rushing to beat the deadline for the home buyer tax credit. With the exception of several months affected by tax stimulus, the last time there was a higher reading was in February 2007 when the index reached 107.9.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said that home sales are on a sustained uptrend. 'Even with market frictions related to the mortgage process, home contract activity continues to improve. Home sales are recovering now based solely on fundamental demand and favourable affordability conditions,' he explained.
On a year on year basis, pending home sales have risen for 19 consecutive months and the upward momentum means existing home sales should rise 8 to 9% in 2013 to approximately 5.1 million, following a 10% gain expected for all of 2012.
The report from the NAR also said that median existing home price is projected to rise just over 4% in 2013, after rising more than 7% in 2012.
The index in the Northeast of the US rose 5.2% to 83.3 in November and is 15.2% above a year ago. In the Midwest the index edged up 0.1% to 103.8 in November and is 15.2% above November 2011.
Pending home sales in the South were unchanged at an index of 117.2 in November and are 13.9% higher than a year ago.
This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.