Home sales rise to highest level in 18 months
Sales at highest level since April 2010
Pending home sales rose in November, reaching the highest level seen since back in April 2010, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a recent report.
According to the NAR, home sales increased in the November for the third consecutive month, sending the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) to 106.4.
The November PHSI of 106.4 is 1.7 percent higher than October (104.6) and 9.8 percent higher than a year earlier in November 2011 (96.9).
The current PHSI of 106.4 from November is also the highest seen since 18 months earlier in April 2010 (111.3).
“Even with market frictions related to the mortgage process, home contract activity continues to improve,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a statement. “Home sales are recovering now based solely on fundamental demand and favorable affordability conditions.”
Strong regional results
Each of the four major U.S. regions saw either a month-over-month increase or no change in pending home sales in November.
The November PHSI in the Northeast increased to 83.3 in November, 5.2 percent higher than the previous month and 15.2 percent higher than a year earlier.
The West experienced a monthly increase of 4.2 percent, but home sales came in 3.2 percent lower than a year earlier (November 2011).
The PHSI in the Midwest increased slightly 0.1 percent from October to November and came in 15.2 percent higher than November 2011. In the South the PHSI was unchanged month-over-month but sits 13.9 percent above last year.
The NAR forecasts that sales of existing homes should rise 8 to 9 percent in 2013.