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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Reach Two-Year High
by Tom Moeller  August 29, 2012

Pending sales of single-family homes rose 2.4% last month after an unrevised 1.4% June decline, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales have risen nearly one-third from the 2010 low. The sales index of 101.7 was its highest since April 2010 when the first-time home buyers tax credit program expired.

Sales improved last month across most of the country led by a 5.2% advance (15.6% y/y) in the South. Sales in the Midwest followed with a 3.4% rise (20.2% y/y) while sales in the Northeast ticked up 0.5% (3.4% y/y). Home sales in the West fell 1.7% (+1.3% y/y).

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 are available in Haver's PREALTOR database. 

The Fed's Emergency Liquidity Facilities during the Financial Crisis: The FDC from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.


Pending Home Sales (2001=100) Jul Jun May Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Total 101.7 99.3 100.7 12.4 90.3 89.2 94.7
Northeast 77.0 76.6 82.9 13.4 68.0 70.9 76.8
Midwest 97.4 94.2 94.8 20.2 81.6 79.9 88.9
South 111.7 106.2 108.4 15.6 98.3 97.0 98.4
West 109.9 111.8 108.7 1.3 104.2 100.8 109.2
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