Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for November showing that home sales increased with the seasonally adjusted national index jumping a notable 7.3% since October and increasing 5.93% above the level seen in November 2010.
Meanwhile, the NARs chief economist Lawrence Yun suggests that the rice in contract activity should portend an equivalent rise to existing home sales though purchase failures have been running unusually high.
"Housing affordability conditions are at a record high and there is a pent-up demand from buyers who’ve been on the sidelines, but contract failures have been running unusually high... November is doing reasonably well in comparison with the past year. The sustained rise in contract activity suggests that closed existing-home sales, which are the important final economic impact figures, should continue to improve in the months ahead,..."
Also, it's important to note that the NAR reports that the pending home sales numbers were apparently not affected by the recent and dramatic existing home sales benchmark revisions.
"Pending home sales are not affected by the recently published rebenchmarking of existing-home sales because the index uses a different methodology based directly on contract signings, and is adjusted for seasonality."
The following chart shows the seasonally adjusted 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).