Marti Pattinson

REALM Real Estate Professionals

14909 Southwest Freeway Suite 102
Sugar Land, TX 77478


Cell: 281-703-0016   
Phone: 281-703-0016 
Fax: 832-690-5987

Housing Trends

December 2017

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Pending Home Sales Slip but Modest Recovery Expected in 2011

New Orleans, November 05, 2010 - Pending home sales retreated after two monthly gains, signaling an uneven recovery entering 2011 with some near-term disruptions from the foreclosure moratorium, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The report was released here at the 2010 Realtors® Conference & Expo.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator, slipped 1.8 percent to 80.9 based on contracts signed in September from an upwardly revised 82.4 in August. However, the index remains 24.9 percent below a surge to 107.8 in September 2009 when first-time buyers were jumping into the market to take advantage of the initial deadline for the tax credit last November. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there is a mix of factors in the housing market. “Existing-home sales have shown some improvement but the foreclosure moratorium is likely to cause some disruption and contribute to an uneven sales performance in the months ahead,” he said. “Nonetheless, there appears to be a pent-up demand that eventually will be unleashed as banks resolve their issues with foreclosures and the labor market improves. However, tight credit and appraisals coming in below a negotiated price continue to constrain the market.”

The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 1.7 percent to 59.6 in September and is 28.3 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index fell 5.7 percent in September to 64.2 and remains 33.0 percent below September 2009. Pending home sales in the South declined 3.5 percent to an index of 87.6 and are 19.1 percent below a year ago. In the West the index rose 3.5 percent to 104.6 but is 24.7 percent below September 2009.

In examining the underlying fundamentals, Yun expects the Gross Domestic Product to grow 2.0 to 2.5 percent over the next two years. With a projection of 1.5 million additional jobs over the next two years, the unemployment rate should decline to 8 percent by 2013 and return to a normal level of around 6 percent in 2015.

“Mortgage interest rates currently are bouncing along the bottom, but are expected to gradually rise and average 4.9 percent next year, then rise to 5.8 percent in 2012,” Yun said.

Existing-home sales are forecast to gradually rise, with some occasional dips along the way. “For 2011 we should see more than 5.1 million existing-home sales, up from about 4.8 million this year. Housing starts are expected to rise to 716,000 in 2011 from 598,000 this year,” Yun said. “We’ve added 30 million people to the U.S. population over the past 10 years, but sales are where they were in 2000, so there appears to be a sizable pent-up demand that could come to the market once the economy gathers momentum.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months. There is a closer relationship between annual index changes (from the same month a year earlier) and year-ago changes in sales performance than with month-to-month comparisons.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales.

NOTE: The next Pending Home Sales Index will be released December 2, and existing-home sales for October will be reported November 23; release times are 10:00 a.m. EST.