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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Stabilize
by Tom Moeller  October 25, 2012

Pending sales of single-family homes ticked up 0.3% last month after a sharp and unrevised 2.6% August decline, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). While sales have risen nearly one-third from the 2010 low, the trend since March has been sideways.

Sales recovered last month in most of the country led by a 4.3% rise (0.8% y/y) in the West. Sales also rose 1.4% (26.1% y/y) in the Northeast and 1.0% (17.6% y/y) in the South. To the downside were sales in the Midwest, off 5.8% from August (+19.3% y/y) and down 8.2% from the July peak. 

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.

Pending Home Sales (2001=100) Sep Aug Jul Y/Y% 2011 2010 2009
Total 99.5 99.2 101.9 14.5 90.3 89.2 94.7
Northeast 79.3 78.2 77.5 26.1 68.0 70.9 76.8
Midwest 89.5 95.0 97.5 19.3 81.6 79.9 88.9
South 111.5 110.4 111.6 17.6 98.3 97.0 98.4
West 106.9 102.5 110.4 0.8 104.2 100.8 109.2
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