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Home sales decline in August; second consecutive month of declines

Dennis Norman

The National Association of REALTORS Pending Home Sales Index for August shows a decrease of 1.2 percent in the index from the month before (seasonally adjusted), and a 7.7 percent increase from a year ago. This is the second consecutive month the index has decreased from the month before and, while the year over year numbers are still better, this month’s year over year increase was only half of what last months was.

Here are highlights from the report for August 2011:

  • The pending home sales index (seasonally adjusted) was 88.6 (the index is based upon 100.0 being equal to the average level of sales activity in 2001 which we could call the last “normal” year) which is a 1.2 percent decrease from the month before and a 7.7 percent increase from a year ago.
  • The”not-seasonally adjusted” index index was 102.8, a 9.4 percent increase from the month before and a 13.1 percent increase from a year ago.
  • The south was the only region this month that had a month over month increase and all regions saw year over year increases in pending home sales.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist,said the decline reflects an uneven market. “The biggest monthly decline was in the Northeast, which was significantly disrupted by Hurricane Irene in the closing weekend of August,” he said. “But broadly speaking, contract signing activity has been holding in a narrow range for many months.”

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