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Pending Home Sales (NAR)-June 09

(August 4, 2009 Release)


• The pending home sales index rose 3.6 percent in June to 94.7, compared to 91.3 in May.
• The pending home sales index rose 6.7 percent from a year ago.
• The South and West recorded the largest monthly increases of 7.1 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively. The Midwest and Northeast posted 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent increases, respectively.

Pending Home Sales Index
June 09 May 09 3 mo Avg 1 year ago
United States 94.6 91.3 92.2 88.7
% change 3.6 0.8 6.7
Northeast 81.2 80.9 80.2 76.7
% change 0.4 3.1 5.8
Midwest 89.9 89.2 89.8 80.6
% change 0.8 -1.3 11.6
South 100.7 94.0 96.3 92.5
% change 7.1 -0.2 8.9
West 100.4 97.6 97.6 100.6
% change 2.9 3.0 -0.2

Source: National Association of Realtors; index is seasonally adjusted


The June pending homes sales release offered favorable news for future existing home sales activity in our nation’s housing sector. The index experienced healthy increases on a month over month and year over year basis. The index has increased for five consecutive months and is over 17 percent above its January low. All four regions of the nation experienced monthly increases in June.

Although there is still some fallout from pending contracts to actual closings, the pending home sales index is becoming a more reliable indicator of future existing home sales. Pending home sales measures contracts on existing homes rather than closings so the improvement in the index usually portends favorably for future existing home sales reports. It is likely that recent increases in existing home contracts are due to improved affordability conditions as well as the first-time homebuyer tax credit.

Looking forward, it is likely from a sales perspective, that the housing sector is gaining a modest momentum from its recent cyclical bottom. The major housing measures- housing starts, existing home sales and new home sales have all posting numbers slightly above their January cyclical lows. This pending home sales release suggests that it is likely that existing home sales may drift slighty upward in the coming months. However, a recession and a deteriorating job situation will keep the housing sector from experiencing any meaningful gains for the remainder of this year.

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