Pending home sales soared more than 10% in October and remain above year-ago levels, in a hopeful sign for the nation’s housing market, according to the National Association of Realtors.
NAR’s pending home sales index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, surged 10.4% to 93.3 in October from 84.5 in September. The index is 9.2% above October 2010 when it stood at 85.5.
The index is based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales and coincides with a level that is historically healthy.
“Home sales have been plodding along at a subpar level while interest rates are hovering at record lows and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who normally would have entered the market in recent years,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
The PHSI in the Northeast rose 17.7% to 71.3 in October, 3.4% above October 2010. In the Midwest, the index jumped 24.1% to 88.7 in October and remains 13.2% above a year ago. The South saw a smaller gain, 8.6% in October, to an index of 99.5 — 9.7% higher than October 2010.Only the West saw slippage, but remains above 100. There, the index slipped 0.3% to 105.5 in October but is 8.1% above a year ago. The index is based on a national sample, typically representing about 20% of transactions for existing-home sales.
Pending home sales rise 25% in Miami area
Pending home sales in Broward County, Fla., home of the Miami metropolitan statistical area, increased 25% in October to 3,356 pending listings compared to 2,633 a year earlier. Those numbers come from the latest Miami Association of Realtors report. Single-family home and condominium sales pending during the same month increased 43%.
Las Vegas existing home sales up 15.3% on low mortgage rates, prices
A combination of low mortgage rates and prices kept real estate investors and first-time buyers hooked on the Las Vegas market in October, pushing existing home sales up 15.3% from last year, DataQuick said. The real estate analytics firm said buyer interest in homes valued below $100,000 jumped 33% over last year.
In October, new home sales hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000, up from 303,000 in September, according to a study from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Compared to October 2010, home sales are up 8.9% when considering 282,000 homes were sold during that month last year.
While sales edge up, the median sales price in October hit $212,300, and the average price was $242,300. The median sales price of new homes in September was $204,400, while the average price hit $243,900.
After studying the report, analysts with Econoday said, “Today’s report joins a growing list of housing indicators that are pointing to limited recovery for the sector, recovery supported by very low mortgage rates. Yet housing is still held down by foreclosures and by tight credit conditions that are limiting the number of home buyers.”
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