U.S. pending home sales rise to highest level since April 2010

December 29, 2012 8:59 am 

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 — Home sales contracts rose to the highest level since April 2010, fresh evidence of the recovering U.S. property market, a leading U.S. industry group reported Friday.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said its index of pending home sales, which measures the number of contracts to buy previously owned homes that have been signed but not yet closed, increased 1.7 percent from October to 106.4 in November, the highest point in two-and-a-half years.

Home sales were on a sustained uptrend, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said, adding "even with market frictions related to the mortgage process, home contract activity continues to improve. Home sales are recovering now based solely on fundamental demand and favorable affordability conditions."

The NAR index is a leading indicator of future existing home sales, since there is usually one or two months' lag between signing a contract and closing a deal.

A reading of 100 indicates an average level of sales activity in 2001, when the index started. The reading was above the 100 threshold from March 2003 to April 2007, and then sank as the country fell into a deep recession caused by the housing debacle. (PNA/Xinhua)

LAM/RSM

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