MISS: Pending Home Sales Plunge -2.6%

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UPDATE: Pending home sales fell 2.6 per cent in August from the previous month, missing economists’ expectations of a 0.3 per cent rise.Last month’s figure was revised up slightly to 2.6 per cent from 2.4 per cent.

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Pending home sales rose 9.6 per cent year-over year, down from last month’s rise of 15.2 per cent and missing estimates of 13.5 per cent.

NAR said that “contract activity in July 2012 was at the highest level since April 2010 when buyers were rushing to beat the deadline for the home buyer tax credit.”

More from the report:

Existing-home sales this year are expected to rise 9 per cent to 4.64 million, and gain another 8 per cent in 2013 to nearly 5.02 million. With generally balanced inventory conditions in many areas, the median existing-home price is projected to rise about 5 per cent in both 2012 and 2013.

The PHSI in the Northeast rose 0.9 per cent to 78.2 in August and is 19.9 per cent above August 2011. In the Midwest the index declined 2.6 per cent to 95.0 in August but is also 19.9 per cent higher than a year ago. Pending home sales in the South slipped 1.1 per cent to an index of 110.4 in August but are 13.2 per cent above August 2011. With broad inventory shortages in the West, the index fell 7.2 per cent in August to 102.5 and is 4.2 per cent below a year ago.

Housing starts are forecast to stay on an uptrend and reach 1.12 million next year, but will remain well below long-term underlying demand with builders facing obstacles in obtaining construction loans.

Growth in the Gross Domestic Product should be 2.5 per cent in 2013.

Here is the full report from NAR >

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ORIGINAL: The next big datapoint out of the U.S. this morning is pending home sales at 10:00 AM ET.

Economists polled by Bloomberg expect a rise of 0.3 per cent in August from the previous month, slowing from last months rise of 2.4 per cent.

Likewise, the year-over-year growth rate in pending home sales is expected to decline to 13.5 per cent from 15 per cent last month.

We will have the numbers here LIVE at 10:00 AM ET.

GARY SHILLING: Here’s Why There’s No Housing Recovery And Prices Will Collapse Another 20% >

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