Pending home sales rise sharply, point to stronger market

WASHINGTON Thurs Aug 28, 2014 10:03am EDT

A real estate sales sign sits outside of a house for sale in Phoenix, Arizona June 2, 2009.  REUTERS/Joshua Lott

(Reuters) – Americans signed more contracts in July to buy previously-owned homes than in any month in almost a year, suggesting the housing market was pulling out of its slump more quickly than expected.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Thursday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, rose 3.3 percent to 105.9, the highest level since August 2013.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected an increase of 0.5 percent last month.

The index plunged last summer after mortgage interest rates spiked, but it has been mostly rising since March of this year.

Contracts signed last U.S.month rose in the Northeast, the South and the West of the country, but fell in the Midwest.


CHUCK NOTE: Reading above, the West reportedly took part in the 3.3% increase in pending sales.  How does this compare to the C.A.R. news released two days ago?


C.A.R.—July pending and distressed home sales report    For release: August 26, 2014

July pending home sales lose steam; share of equity sales expands further

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 23) – Despite ultra-low interest rates, California’s real estate market continued to underperform in July, with pending home sales posting lower for the fourth straight month.  At the same time, equity home sales improved further, as both short sales and REO sales continued to decline, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Pending home sales data:

• California pending home sales fell in July, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* dropping 2.3 percent from 107 in June to 104.5 in July, based on signed contracts.  The month-to-month drop was consistent with seasonal trends.

• Pending sales were down 9.2 percent from the 115.1 index recorded in July 2013.  Pending sales have been down year to year since October 2012, but the pace appears to be decelerating as the decrease in July was smaller than the average in the last six months.  Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, providing information on the future direction of the market.


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