In the last housing data point that includes the incentive of a home buyer tax credit, Apr Pending Home Sales rose by 6% m/o/m, above the forecast of a gain of 5% and Mar was revised up. Gains were led by a 29.5% rise in contract signings in the Northeast followed by gains in the West and Midwest as the South saw a modest drop. With the tax credit now gone, “the housing market has to get back on its own feet” said the NAR chief economist but he thinks it will “provided the economy continues to add jobs.” He estimates the tax credit “brought close to 1mm additional buyers into the market” but states one problem and that is closing the purchases by the June 30th deadline to get the credit as short sales approval by banks and ongoing appraisal issues have “brought long delays.” The NAR has thus “asked Congress to provide flexibility on the deadline for closing.”
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