Home sales higher on a yearly basis despite monthly decline
Pending home sales 14 percent higher than a year ago
Pending home sales decline from March to April but are up significantly from last year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a recent report.
According to the NAR, pending home sales in the U.S. in April dropped 5.5 percent in April to a Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) of 95.5, down from the 101.1 PHSI in March.
However, one year earlier in April 2011, the PHSI came in 14.4 percent lower – 83.5. Year-over-year gains are present despite the recent one-month downturn.
“Home contract activity has been above year-ago levels now for 12 consecutive months,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a statement. “The housing recovery momentum continues.”
Yun also said that housing market indicators should trend up in the remainder of 2012, but that a new federal housing budget in a necessary step to continue the move forward. Regardless, home sales levels continue to be higher than what was seen the past four years.
“Housing market activity has clearly broken out at notably higher levels and is on track to see the best performance since 2007,” Yun said.
The April PHSI in all four major U.S. regions is notably higher than the previous April, led by the Midwest:
- Midwest: April 2012 PHSI of 93.0 is 23.0 percent higher than April 2011.
- Northeast: April 2012 PHSI of 78.9 is 19.9 percent higher than April 2011.
- South: April 2012 PHSI of 105.7 is 13.3 percent higher than April 2011.
- West: April 2012 PHSI of 94.9 is 5.1 percent higher than April 2011.
The NAR upgraded its existing-home sales forecasted, with sales now expected to reach 4.66 million this year, up from 4.26 million in 2011. Forecast for 2013 range between 4.92 million to 5.3 million, depending on possible improvement in the lending environment.
Home prices are also forecasted to improve over the next year-and-a-half, the NAR noted, with median existing-home prices estimated to increase 2 to 3 percent this year and rise 4 to 5 percent in 2013.