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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Collapse
by Tom Moeller October 4, 2007

In yet another sign of weakness in the U.S. housing market, the National Association of Realtors indicated that the August level of pending home sales fell 6.5% from July and 21.5% from one year earlier.

The latest monthly figure is 31.2% below the peak average level during 2005. The data date back only to 2001. These are home sales under contract but not yet closed.

In further confirmation of the slow rate of home sales, the Realtors indicated in an earlier report that the number of homes on the market and available for sale rose slightly in August to a level 19.2% above the year earlier level.

In the Western part of the nation, the down trend in pending home sales is most severe with a 27.1% drop.

Despite that relative severity out West, the drop in pending home sales is large and pervasive. In the Northeast, pending home sales are down 19.3%. That decline compares to an 18.0% decline in the Midwest and a 21.3% drop in the South.

The pending home sales data are available in Haver's PREALTOR database and the number of homes on the market are in the REALTOR database.

Whose part is it? Measuring domestic content of vehicles from the Federal Reserve bank of Chicago is available here.

Pending Home Sales (2001=100) August July Y/Y 2006 2005 2004
Total 85.5 91.4 -21.5% 112.1 124.2 120.5
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