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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Reach a New High
by Tom Moeller  May 30, 2013

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending sales of single-family homes during April ticked up 0.3% (10.3% y/y) after a 1.5% gain during March. The latest level was the highest since April 2010. The sales rebound since the removal in 2010 of the home buyers tax credit has raised home sales by more than one-third from the low.

Last month's sales gain again reflected mixed performance around the country. Sales in the Northeast rose 11.5% (17.7% y/y) to a three-year high. Sales in the Midwest gained 3.2% (15.0% y/y) to the highest level of the economic expansion. To the downside, sales in the West plummeted 7.6% (-2.7% y/y) while sales in the South were down 1.1% (+12.2% 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. 


Pending Home Sales (2001=100) Apr Mar Feb Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Total 106.0 105.7 104.1 10.3 100.3 90.2 89.1
Northeast 92.3 82.8 82.8 17.7 79.1 67.9 70.9
Midwest 107.1 103.8 103.5 15.0 95.9 81.5 79.8
South 119.2 120.5 116.9 12.2 110.7 98.3 97.0
West 94.6 102.4 101.4 -2.7 105.0 104.1 100.7
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