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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Are Depressed
by Tom Moeller  October 27, 2011

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending sales of existing single-family homes fell 4.6% last month to the lowest level since April. A 0.4% rise had been expected by Bloomberg. For all of Q3, sales were roughly even with the Q2 average but remained well below earlier highs. The m/m September decline was due to lower sales throughout the country.

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)  Sep Aug Jul Y/Y % 2010 2009 2008
Total 84.5 88.6 89.7 6.4 89.4 94.5 87.0
  Northeast 60.6 63.6 67.5 3.9 71.6 76.6 73.5
 Midwest 71.5 76.2 79.1 12.2 80.3 88.6 81.1
 South 91.6 96.9 94.4 5.0 97.0 98.0 89.8
 West 105.8 108.1 110.8 5.6 100.8 109.3 99.4
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