Real Estate & Area News

Pending Home Sales Rise for 1st Time in Six Months

Pending home sales rose in November, according to a report issued Monday by the National Association of Realtors, though the gain was smaller than economists were expecting. The NAR's index of pending home sales, which tracks the number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes, rose 0.2 percent from October to November, marking the first upward movement in the measure since May. Economists in a recent Bloomberg survey forecast a 1.0 percent advance in the index, on average.

The NAR's report on pending home sales is a closely monitored indicator of home sales in the coming months. A home purchase typically closes one to two months after a contract is signed, so October's reading should indicate slightly higher sales in November and December when the reports for those months' sales are released in the coming weeks. Pending sales rose in two of the four regions of the US, the West and South, which offset declines in the Northeast and Midwest. 2013 has already been a much improved year for the housing sector, with sales expected to reach their highest level in seven years with a currently projected sales total of 5.1 million homes.

December 30, 2013