I love going into the New Year with all the positives we can get. A monthly index that tracks pending sales of U.S. existing homes rose to its highest level in 19 months in November, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors. Pending sales figures are a very good indication of what consumer attitudes and confidence are going into the New Year as they directly correspond to buyers attitudes and confidence.
NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on purchase contracts signed but not yet closed, jumped 7.3 percent from an upwardly revised 93.3 in October and 5.9 percent compared to November 2010, to 100.1. That’s the highest index score since April 2010, just before the deadline for a federal home-buyer tax credit program, when the index was at 111.5, NAR said. “Some of the increase in pending home sales appears to be from buyers recommitting after an initial contract ran into problems, often with the mortgage,” Yun said. “November is doing reasonably well in comparison with the past year. The sustained rise in contract activity suggests that closed existing-home sales, which are the important final economic impact figures, should continue to improve in the months ahead,” Yun added.
What we are seeing statewide through December bears these NAR figures out. A more recent Massachusetts Association of Realtors report shows that the number of condos put under agreement in December in Massachusetts was up 13% to 1,179 units vs 1,046 in December 2010. The number of single family homes put under agreement in December was up 11.7% to 3,227 units vs 2,888 units in December 2010. Pending sales in my Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage South End office are up 20% December over December. As with the NAR and MAR figures these positive figures are a reliable sign of increased sales occurring in January and February. Time will tell.