Monday, May 30, 2011

April 2011 pending home sales declined 11.6% since March 2011, and 26.5% since April 2010

April 2011 pending home sales fell 11.6% since March 2011, and 26.5% since April 2010:
The number of people who signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes in the U.S. tumbled last month, the latest sign that the battered sector is struggling to rebound.

The National Association of Realtors’ seasonally adjusted index for pending sales of existing homes decreased 11.6% on a monthly basis to 81.9, the industry group said Friday.

March’s reading was revised down to 92.6 from an original reading of 94.1. ...

The pending sales index was 26.5% below its level in April 2010, which is when a tax subsidy for first-time home buyers expired. ...

A sale is considered pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction hasn’t closed. Pending sales typically close within one or two months of signing.

Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist, said the drop may reflect an economic soft patch in April driven by higher oil prices, severe weather and a bump in unemployment claims.

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