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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Recover
by Tom Moeller April 5, 2010

It appears that snow-storms in February didn't dampen home sales as much as during the prior month. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending sales of existing single-family homes recovered virtually all of the January decline with an 8.2% increase. The recovery left home sales up nearly one-quarter from the low in January of last year. The latest gain compares with Consensus expectations for a slight m/m decline.

The m/m performance of home sales varied across the country. A large increase in the Midwest was accompanied by smaller increases in the Northeast and in the South while sales fell in the West.

These home sales figures are analogous to the new home sales data from the Commerce Department in that they measure existing home sales when the sales contract is signed, not at the time the sale is closed. The series dates back to 2001 and the data is available in Haver's PREALTOR database.

How Much Is That Home Really Worth? Appraisal Bias and House-Price Uncertainty from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia can be found here.

Pending Home Sales (2001=100)  February January December Y/Y 2009 2008 2007
Total 97.6 90.2 97.8   17.3% 95.1 86.9 95.9
  Northeast 77.7 71.3 78.1 18.8 76.7 73.0 86.1
  Midwest 97.9 80.4 89.2 18.7 88.8 80.7 89.6
  South 107.0 98.0 100.2 17.5 98.9 90.3 107.4
  West 98.0 102.9 118.5 14.6 109.9 99.2 92.1
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