Friday, September 04, 2009
Pending Home Sales Continue Record Roll
Contract activity for pending home sales has risen for six straight months, a pattern not seen in the history of the index since it began in 2001, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in July, increased 3.2 percent to 97.6 from a reading of 94.6 in June. It is 12 percent higher than July 2008 when it was 87.1. The index is at the highest level since June 2007, when it was 100.7.
Affordability at Record High
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market momentum has clearly turned for the better.
“The recovery is broad-based across many parts of the country. Housing affordability has been at record highs this year with the added stimulus of a first-time buyer tax credit,” he says.
“Other buyers are taking advantage of low home values before prices turn higher," Yun says. "Nationally, the typical mortgage payment now takes less than 25 percent of a middle-income family’s monthly income to buy a median priced home, with payment percentages so far in 2009 being the lowest on record dating back to 1970. As long as home buyers stay within their budget, mortgage payments will be very manageable."