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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

NAR: Pending Home Sales Index Declines

by Calculated Risk on 4/08/2008 10:23:00 AM

From the National Association of Realtors: Existing-Home Sales to Stablize Before Upturn in Second Half of 2008

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in February, slipped 1.9 percent to 84.6 from an upwardly revised reading of 86.2 in January, and was 21.4 percent lower than the February 2007 index of 107.6.
Contracts signed in February will result in closings in March and April (average time from signing the contract to closing is about 45 days). But if March is 21.4 percent below last year, then sales will be about 4.8 million (SAAR) in March 2008.

The press release includes another overly optimistic forecast from NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun:
Existing-home sales are likely to rise from an annual pace of 4.9 million in the first quarter to 5.9 million in the fourth quarter. With relatively weak activity in the first part of the year, existing-home sales for all of 2008 are forecast at 5.39 million, increasing 6.6 percent to 5.74 million in 2009.
Stablize? Hmmm ...