Pending Home Sales Up, A Mixed Message On Real Estate Market

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Pending home sales rose in October, according to the National Association of Realtors. The news comes just a day after S&P/Case-Shiller data showed a drop in home sales. Perhaps there are more homes for sale at lower prices. There is not enough data from any sources to make an affirmative conclusion.

“The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 10.4 percent to 89.3 based on contracts signed in October from 80.9 in September. The index remains 20.5 percent below a surge to a cyclical peak of 112.4 in October 2009, which was the highest level since May 2006 when it hit 112.6,” the NAR reported.

The PHSI in the Northeast jumped 19.6 percent to 71.3 in October but is 27.3 percent below the tax credit peak in October 2009. In the Midwest the index surged 27.3 percent in October to 81.7 but is 24.8 percent below a year ago. Pending home sales in the South rose 7.1 percent to an index of 93.8 but are 18.4 percent below October 2009. In the West the index slipped 0.4 percent to 104.3 and is 15.6 percent below a year ago


Even the regional numbers from the NAR appear to be questionable. Most of the worst real estate market are based in the West, and the figures appear to show otherwise. The real estate market is dreadful. The way it is measured is not much better.

Douglas A. McIntyre