November Pending Home Sales Rise 3.5%


Headline: Up 3.5% to 92.2, down 5% from November 2009.

Analysis: This is a gain over last month, where we saw a sharp upward movement. It doesn’t exactly spell “housing recovery” as, overall, the number is still weak and down year-over-year.


The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator, rose 3.5 per cent to 92.2 based on contracts signed in November from a downwardly revised 89.1 in October. The index is 5.0 per cent below a reading of 97.0 in November 2009. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said historically high housing affordability is boosting sales activity. “In addition to exceptional affordability conditions, steady improvements in the economy are helping bring buyers into the market,” he said. “But further gains are needed to reach normal levels of sales activity.”

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