October 25th, 2012
Pending home sales in September experienced a mild uptick, but analysts noted that the increase was still moderately higher than the previous year.
The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Homes Sales Index climbed 0.3 percent in September to 99.5, up from 99.2 in August. The data represents a 14.5 percent increase from September 2011, at which point the index stood at 86.9. The uptick is welcome news for the housing market, which has been struggling to overcome several obstacles, including tight credit conditions, stubborn unemployment rates, high foreclosure rates and timid buyers.
“Home contract activity remains at an elevated level in contrast with recent years, but currently appears to be bouncing around in a narrow range,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “This means only minor movement is likely in near-term existing-home sales, but with positive underlying market fundamentals they should continue on an uptrend in 2013.”
Pending home sales represent contract signings, but not closings. There are several scenarios that may unfold between a contract signing and a closing that may derail a sale, making it imperative that buyers remain in close contact with their mortgage service company during all phases of the transaction.