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Economy in Brief

U.S. Pending Home Sales' Recovery Gains Steam
by Tom Moeller May 4, 2010

Following the recovery already reported for existing home sales, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) today indicated that March pending sales of existing single-family homes rose 5.3% from February. The gain left home sales up more than one-quarter from the low in January of last year. The latest slightly beat Consensus expectations for a 4.0% increase.

The m/m performance of home sales varied across the country. A large monthly increase in the South (28.4% y/y) was accompanied by small increases in the Midwest (18.4% y/y) and in the West (8.8% y/y). Sales in the Northeast fell moderately (+27.3% 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 is available in Haver's PREALTOR database.

The latest Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices from the Federal Reserve can be found here.

Pending Home Sales (2001=100)  March February January y/y 2009 2008 2007
Total 102.9 97.6 90.2   21.1% 95.1 86.9 95.9
  Northeast 75.1 77.7 71.3 27.3 76.7 73.0 86.1
  Midwest 98.9 97.7 80.4 18.4 88.8 80.7 89.6
  South 121.2 107.5 98.0 28.4 98.9 90.3 107.4
  West 99.9 98.0 102.9 8.8 109.9 99.2 92.1
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