July numbers are up. Remember, this is the reaction to various issues…. the bottom may be here… but we are going to scrape it for awhile… -Phil Buoscio
NAR Reports a Skyrocketing Home Sales Index in July
09/02/2009 By: Adam Weinstein
A top indicator of future U.S. home sales jumped to a two-year high in July, according to a leading real estate trade group, adding fuel to the sentiment that the housing market is experiencing a broad recovery.
The pending-home-sales index calculated by the National Association of Realtors rose 3.2 percent in summer’s middle month, settling at 97.6 – the highest figure seen since June 2007, before housing markets turned sour, credit shriveled up, and the U.S. recession widened to affect most Americans in the nation’s worst economic
downturn since the Great Depression.
July’s gain was the sixth consecutive monthly rise in pending sales of existing homes, said NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun. Sales levels were also 12 percent higher than they had been a year earlier.
“The recovery is broad-based across many parts of the country,” he said. “Housing affordability has been at record highs this year with the added stimulus of a first-time buyer tax credit.”
NAR predicted that sales of existing homes would continue to recover through 2010, but warned that the upswing was “fragile”.
Yun took that characterization of the economy, and the July figures, as a rationale to extend the federal government’s $8,000 tax credit for new home buyers. NAR estimated that roughly 2 million home buyers would take advantage of the program before its expiration at the end of November – including 350,000 purchasers who likely would not have bought homes without the credit.
“Unless the tax credit is extended no one should be surprised to see home sales drop in the first quarter of next year,” Yun said.