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Economy in Brief

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

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending sales of existing single-family homes fell 1.2% last month and repeated the July drop that was unrevised. Sales remained slightly higher than the Q2 average but remained well below recent highs. The m/m August slip was due to lower sales in the Midwest and South but sales elsewhere rose, notably in the Northeast.

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.

Pending Home Sales (2001=100)  Aug Jul Jun Y/Y % 2010 2009 2008
Total 88.6 89.7 90.9 7.7 89.4 94.5 87.0
  Northeast 83.6 67.5 68.9 1.3 71.6 76.6 73.5
  Midwest 76.2 79.1 79.7 8.2 80.3 88.6 81.1
  South 96.9 94.4 99.2 7.5 97.0 98.0 89.8
  West 108.1 110.8 107.0 10.5 100.8 109.3 99.4
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