Business, Economics and Jobs

Pending home sales hit 2 ½ year high


Home prices in major urban areas are slightly on the rise, showing an improvement in real estate sales in the United States. However, some analysts believe this only reflects the common patterns of sales rising in the spring after a slow winter, and not that real estate is actually improving.


Robyn Beck

Pending sales of previously owned US homes hit a 2 1/2 year high in November, the National Assn. of Realtors said today, according to Reuters.

More from GlobalPost: New US home sales hit 2-year high

The group found that the number of purchase contracts signed increased 1.7 percent over October, the third month in a row pending sales have increased, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Pending sales were 9.8 percent higher than a year earlier and the highest they’ve been since the home-buyer tax credit expired in April 2010, Reuters reported.

"Home sales are recovering now based solely on fundamental demand and favorable affordability conditions," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said, according to Reuters.

Stable prices, low borrowing costs and fewer foreclosures coming onto the market are pulling consumers back into the real estate market, according to Bloomberg News.

According to Bloomberg News:

Pending sales are considered a leading indicator because they track purchase contracts in advance of actual transactions, which are tabulated a month or two later.

The National Assn. of Realtors’ data indicates that the housing recovery is continuing to pick up steam even in the face of fiscal uncertainty in the United States, Bloomberg News reported.

“Housing is building some momentum,” Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pa., told Bloomberg News before the report was released. “There is a growing perception that now is a good time to buy. Prices are starting to tick up, mortgage rates are still rock-bottom and the job market has shown some signs of improvement.”