Meanwhile, the NARs chief economist Lawrence Yun reports that most of the action has been on the lower end and suggests that first-time home buyers need to act now or else miss out on their chance for an $8000 housing welfare payment.
“Historically low mortgage interest rates, affordable home prices and large selection are encouraging buyers who’ve been on the sidelines. Activity has been consistently much stronger for lower priced homes, … Because it may take as long as two months to close on a home after signing a contract, first-time buyers must act fairly soon to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit because they must close on the sale by November 30.”
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 the June seasonally adjusted pending home sales results and draw your own conclusion:
- Nationally the index increased 6.7% as compared to June 2008.
- The Northeast region increased 5.8% as compared to June 2008.
- The Midwest region increased 11.6% as compared to June 2008.
- The South region increased 8.9% as compared to June 2008.
- The West region decreased 0.2% as compared to June 2008.