Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Pending Home Sales: February 2009

Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for February showing a 1.4% year-over-year decline in pending home sales nationally and a surprising 1.7% year-over-year decline in pending sales seen in the heavily foreclosure laden markets of the west region.

Meanwhile, the NARs chief economist Lawrence Yun continues to spin his tales of improved housing affordability while embracing government funded handouts for his industry.

“Pending home sales have a way to go for there to be a meaningful increase, but recent increases in shopping activity are hopeful indicators that we’ll see additional sales gains … More buyers are getting into the market to take advantage of stimulus incentives and much improved housing affordability conditions, but it will take a few months before we could see this turn up in measurable sales contract activity.”

The following chart shows the national pending homes sales index since 2005 compared monthly. Notice that each year, the months value is decreasing fairly consistently (click for larger version).

The following chart shows the national pending home sales index along with the percent change on a year-over-year basis as well as the percent change from the peak set in 2005 (click for larger version).

Look at February’s seasonally adjusted pending home sales results and draw your own conclusion:

  • Nationally the index declined 1.4% as compared to February 2008.
  • The Northeast region declined 11.2% as compared to February 2008.
  • The Midwest region increased 3.4% as compared to February 2008.
  • The South region declined 0.1% as compared to February 2008.
  • The West region declined 1.7% as compared to February 2008.