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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Slip
by Tom Moeller  August 29, 2011

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending sales of existing single-family homes slipped 1.3% last month after an unrevised 2.4% June increase. Sales were slightly higher than the Q2 average but remained well below recent highs. The m/m July improvement was due to an increase in the West but sales elsewhere slipped.

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.

Home affordability fell as a result of a rise in the mortgage payment as a percent of income. The home affordability figures are available in the REALTOR database.

Friday's speech by Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke can be found here.

Pending Home Sales (2001=100)  Jul Jun May Y/Y % 2010 2009 2008
Total 89.7 90.9 88.8 14.4 89.4 94.5 87.0
  Northeast 67.5 68.9 69.2 9.8 71.6 76.6 73.5
  Midwest 79.1 79.7 82.8 18.8 80.3 88.6 81.1
  South 94.4 99.2 95.0 9.5 97.0 98.0 89.8
  West 110.8 107.0 100.6 20.6 100.8 109.3 99.4
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