Interest Rate Roundup

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Pending home sales plunge 16% in November

The National Association of Realtors came out with its pending home sales data for November a little while ago. Here's what the numbers looked like:

* Pending sales plunged 16%. That compared with an expected decline of 2%. Yikes!

* On a year-over-year basis, the pending sales index actually rose 15.5% to 96 from 83.1.

* Regionally, sales fell across the country. Sales dropped 2.7% in the West, 15% in the South, and 25.7% in both the Northeast and Midwest.

Pending home sales plunged by a much larger than expected margin in November. That's the bad news. The good news? It's largely tax credit related. Since the period covered in this report, the first-time buyer credit has been expanded and extended. We've also seen indicators of unemployment and economic growth stabilize over the past few months. So after we work through this period of housing indigestion, we'll likely see sales rates gradually pick up again and home inventories gradually decline.


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