Pending Home Sales Index Rises Year-over-Year

Here is some surprisingly good news from the NAR: 

"The Pending Home Sales Index,1 a forward-looking indicator based on contracts
signed in August, jumped 7.4 percent to 93.4 from an upwardly revised reading of
87.0 in July, and is 8.8 percent higher than August 2007 when it stood at 85.8.
The index is at the highest level since June 2007 when it stood at 101.4.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home buyers were responding to
improved affordability. Yun notes the unusual timing of contract activity in August. “Home buyers in
July were hampered by overly stringent lending criteria in the months before the
government takeover of Fannie and Freddie," he said. “August shows some
unleashing of pent-up demand before the credit crisis accelerated in

The primary gains were in the West — Las Vegas, Arizona, and Southern California — where prices have dropped 35-45%.

Not that the biggest gainer was foreclosure sales in the West, up 18.4% month over month.

The year over year gains are significant . . . now we have to see if this is a one off, or the start of a new trend.


Pending Home Sales up Strongly October 08, 2008

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