Home sales jump in October to highest level in 18 months

Dennis Norman

The National Association of REALTORS Pending Home Sales Index for October shows an increase of 10.4 percent in the index from the month before (seasonally adjusted), and a 9.2 percent increase from a year ago. This is the first time in four months that the index has increased and marks the highest level the index has achieved since April 2010 when it was at 110.9.

Here are highlights from the report for October 2011:

  • The pending home sales index (seasonally adjusted) was 93.3 (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 10.4 percent increase from the month before and a 9.2 percent increase from a year ago.
  • The”not-seasonally adjusted” index index was 90.1, a 8.3 percent increase from the month before and a 7.3 percent increase from a year ago.
  • All the regions this month had month over month increases and year over year increases in home sales activity with the exception of the West that had a slight (0.3 percent) month over month decrease.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said improved contract activity is a hopeful sign. “Home sales have been plodding along at a sub-par level while interest rates are hovering at record lows and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who normally would have entered the market in recent years. We hope this is indicates more buyers are taking advantage of the excellent affordability conditions,” he said.

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