Pending home sales strong but not for long

March Pending Home Sales, which reflect the desire to take advantage of the April 30th expiration of the home buying tax credit, rose 5.3%, about in line with expectations of a rise of 5%. Gains were seen most in the South followed by the West and Midwest. The Northeast saw a drop of 3.3%. The y/o/y gain is now 23.5% but all changes when we see the May data as even the NAR acknowledges that “we expect measurably lower sales” with no tax credit. As the NAR also says, the market will need an economy that can “add jobs at a respectable pace” in order to see home sales become self sustaining in the 2nd half of ’10 and into ’11. One positive for the market noted in the NAR release is the improvement in the availability of jumbo and 2nd home loans as bank balance sheets slowly improve.

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