Home sales rise in November;  second consecutive month of increases

Dennis Norman

The National Association of REALTORS Pending Home Sales Index for November shows an increase of 7.3 percent in the index from the month before (seasonally adjusted), and a 5.9 percent increase from a year ago. This is the second consecutive month that the index has increased and marks the highest level the index has achieved since April 2010 when it was at 111.5.

Here are highlights from the report for November 2011:

  • The pending home sales index (seasonally adjusted) was 100.1 (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 7.3 percent increase from the month before and a 5.9 percent increase from a year ago.
  • The”not-seasonally adjusted” index index was 81.1, a 10.0 percent decrease from the month before and a 6.9 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 Northeast that had a slight (0.3 percent) year over year decrease.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist,

said the gains may result partially from delayed transactions. “Housing affordability conditions are at a record high and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who’ve been on the sidelines, but contract failures have been running unusually high. Some of the increase in pending home sales appears to be from buyers recommitting after an initial contract ran into problems, often with the mortgage,” he said.

“November is doing reasonably well in comparison with the past year. The sustained rise in contract activity suggests that closed existing-home sales, which are the important final economic impact figures, should continue to improve in the months ahead,” Yun added.

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