Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Pending Home Sales Increase in July

by Bill McBride on 9/01/2009 10:00:00 AM

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales on a Record Roll

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in July, increased 3.2 percent to 97.6 from a reading of 94.6 in June, and is 12.0 percent higher than July 2008 when it was 87.1. The index is at the highest level since June 2007 when it was 100.7.
...
NAR estimates that about 1.8 to 2.0 million first-time buyers will take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit this year, with approximately 350,000 additional sales that would not have taken place without the credit.
emphasis added
The increase in pending sales has been mostly from lower priced homes with demand from first time home buyers (taking advantage of the tax credit) and investors.

And look at the cost of the tax credit! If NAR is close to being correct, 2 million buyers will claim the tax credt - times $8,000 - is $16 billion. But this only resulted in "approximately 350,000 additional sales".

So this tax credit cost taxpayers about $45,000 per each additional home sold. Not very effective ... especially considering most of these are lower priced homes.

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