Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their Pending Home Sales Report for August showing that pending home sales declined with the seasonally adjusted national index falling 2.6% since July while increasing 10.7% above the level seen in August 2011.
Meanwhile, the NARs chief economist Lawrence Yun points out that there have been 16 consecutive months of annual gains suggesting that buying activity remains on the mend:
"The performance in month-to-month contract signings has been uneven with ongoing shortages of lower priced inventory in much of the country, and across most price ranges in the West, but activity has remained at notably higher levels this year,... The index shows 16 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, and that has translated into a higher number of closed sales. Year-to-date existing-home sales are 9 percent above the same period last year, but sales were relatively flat from 2008 through 2011,"
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).