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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales Have Slim Rise in November
by Carol Stone  December 30, 2013

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that November pending sales of single-family homes inched up 0.2% m/m, their first rise since May. They were off 1.5% from a year ago.

Sales rose in two regions, the South and the West; those in the South were up 2.3%, putting them up 0.2% from a year ago, while those in the West gained 1.8%, leaving them down 8.7% year-on-year. Monthly declines occurred in the Northeast, down 2.7% from October and up 1.8% year-on-year, and the Midwest, down 3.1% month-to-month and up 0.4% from a year ago.

The pending home sales figures are analogous to the new home sales data from the Commerce Department. They measure home sales when the sales contract is signed, not at the time the sale is closed. In developing the model for the index, the NAR demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months. The series dates back to 2001 and the data are available in Haver's PREALTOR database.

Pending Home Sales (2001=100) Nov Oct Sep Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Total 101.7 101.5 102.7 -1.5 100.3 90.2 89.1
Northeast 82.6 84.9 83.5 1.8 79.1 67.9 70.9
Midwest 100.6 103.8 102.9 0.4 95.9 81.5 79.8
South 116.1 113.5 115.4 0.2 110.7 98.3 97.0
West 95.0 93.3 97.3 -8.7 105.2 104.1 100.7
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