Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pending Home Sales: March 2012

Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for March showing that pending home sales improved notably with the seasonally adjusted national index climbing 4.1% since February while increasing 12.8% above the level seen in March 2011.

Meanwhile, the NARs chief economist Lawrence Yun suggests that, based on the current trends, 2012 could see the best selling in five years.

"The spring home buying season looks bright because of an elevated level of contract offers so far this year, ... If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years. Based on all of the factors in the current market, that’s what we’re expecting with sales rising 7 to 10 percent in 2012."

The problem is though, the MBA Purchase Index is not currently capturing any significant rise in purchase contract activity which begs the question... how are the buyers that the NAR sees in the pending index financing their purchase? ... Cash?

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).