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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Flop With Loss of Tax Credit
by Tom Moeller July 1, 2010

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending sales of existing single-family homes fell during May by nearly one-third versus April. The decline came with the removal of the government's $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers. The decline was roughly double the Consensus expectation.

The m/m performance of home sales varied little across the country with month-to-month and year-to-year declines all similar.

Pending 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.

Pending Home Sales (2001=100)  May April March Y/Y % 2009 2008 2007
Total 77.6 110.9 104.6 -15.9 95.1 86.9 95.9
  Northeast 67.0 97.9 75.6 -14.8 76.7 73.0 86.1
  Midwest 70.8 104.3 100.1 -20.2 88.8 80.7 89.6
  South 82.5 123.6 124.6 -14.4 98.9 90.3 107.4
  West 85.3 107.9 100.4 -15.0 109.9 99.2 92.1
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