Report on pending home sales spurs recovery talk

Index of homes under contract in March reaches highest level since April 2010.

By Tony at MSN Real Estate Apr 26, 2012 10:46AM

© Image Source/CorbisStop us if you've heard this before: Positive news about pending home sales in March has brightened the outlook for coming months.

 

The National of Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index came in at 104.1 in March, up from 97.4 in February and 89.9 in March 2011. The index tracks homes under contract, not actual closings.

 

With the index at its highest level since April 2010, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun predicted increases for sales of existing and new homes in coming months. In March, existing-home sales were down 2.6% from February, and new-home sales were down 7.1%.

 

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Still, in a news release, the NAR was quick to note signs of a "recovering" market. From Yun:

 

"The housing market has clearly turned the corner. Rising sales are bringing down inventory and creating much more balanced conditions around the (country), which means home prices will be rising in more areas as the year progresses."

 

Truth be told, positive conditions still exist for homebuyers. Home prices decreased in 16 of the nation's 20 largest markets in February, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, released this week. Nine of those cities reached post-recession lows. Also this week, mortgage rates on 30-year loans neared their record low by hitting 3.88%, down from 3.9% last week, Freddie Mac reported. They have hovered near that level for some time.

Then there's the highly scientific barometer of nice weather. As The Associated Press notes, an unseasonably mild January and February may have attracted more buyers in those traditionally down months — stealing some thunder from March and April, when activity usually picks up.

But today's pending-sales news could indicate that those buyers are hanging around, says Yelena Shulyatyeva of BNP Paribas, according to MarketWatch. "Therefore, record warm weather likely had a positive effect on pending home sales in March, which, consequently, could be reflected in existing-home sales in April or May, pulling demand forward from the summer months," she said in a note to clients.

Index changes varied by region in March.

  • Northeast: The index fell 0.8% to 78.2 in March, but was up 21.1% from March 2011.
  • Midwest: The index decreased 0.9% to 93.3, but was 16.9% higher than last year.
  • South: The index increased 5.9% to 114.1; that was a 10.6% increase from last March.
  • West: The index was up 8.7% to 108, which is 9% above last year.

 

— Tony Stasiek is a producer/editor at MSN Real Estate.

 
19Comments
Apr 26, 2012 3:04PM
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FUNNY THIS REPORT IS PAID FOR VIA ADVERTISING FROM BANK OF AMERICA, ONE OF THE BIGGEST THIEVES OF THIS WHOLE MESS....SO AGAIN, THE WOLF IS HIDING IN SHEEPS CLOTHING TRYING TO FILTER FALSE INFO. TO THE MASSES....I WAS IN THE MORTGAGE BUSINESS, I SAW FIRST HAND...HOW THESE THIEVES OPERATE.....RECOVERY IS FAR FROM OVER.....ALL LIES!!!  LAWMAKERS ARE PUPPETS TO THESE CORPORATE BANKS...THE SHYTSTEM NEEDS CHANGE, NOT THE PUPPETS IN OFFICE...LOBBYIST CONTROL OUR COUNTRY, ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE BACK OUR GOVERNMENT??? 
Apr 26, 2012 3:02PM
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More Political Spin To Make BO Look good !
Apr 26, 2012 3:01PM
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Not four hours ago the "experts" were saying how home sales were at an all time low.  How about reporting the facts ?  What are the facts ?  Does anyone really know ?
Apr 26, 2012 2:28PM
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I wish they would stop reporting all of this crap!  There are millions more foreclosures expected this year, which indicates that the destroyed economy is reaching further and further into the population, but we are supposed to believe that a real turn around is at hand.  Also, Europe is still in a horrible economic crisis and we think that will not impact us?  Give me a break with this bull crap.  

Believe me, the economy is like the weather.  I can look outside to see what's happening.  I don't need to watch a news broadcast to know what the deal is.  When things turn around for real, we will all know without a doubt.  
Apr 26, 2012 2:25PM
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The economy is pretty bad overall........They can spin it anyway they want...Until we get our debt under control and some of the good jobs we lost back things will never get better....I am 51 yrs old and I dont see any of what I just mentioned happening in my lifetime....Until the people who run our country see the big picture and not whats best for themselves and there party we are doomed....They all talk a good game but thats all they do...We need action and we need it now...Kinda like our gas prices...If we start drilling now it will take 5 yrs to see any good come from it...Guess what that 5 yrs has come and gone and what do we have...$4 and maybe soon $5 gas...They all talk about the middle class,but I for one think you need to make 55k now to even concider yourself middle class and I dont know many people who are close to that...So if you want to buy a house lets say 150k house,you need 30k down and a great job to pay all that comes with that,,taxes etc...You tell me with almost 75% of americans living paycheck to paycheck how many houses are going to sell in the near future my friends...
Apr 26, 2012 2:19PM
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Who listens to the NAR, they lied about the crash for 3 years. YOUR HOME IS NOT WORTH what you paid, get over it.... It's not about warm weather, the reason your house is not selling is because your POS house is not worth what you paid for it. 1 in 3 houses are underwater.... 2020 at least.
Cat face
Apr 26, 2012 2:16PM
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sttttttttttttttttttoooooooooooooooopppppppppppp  it.  MSN 
Apr 26, 2012 2:15PM
Apr 26, 2012 2:14PM
Apr 26, 2012 2:10PM
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ok so how is it that msn has two stories that contradict one another one says home sales spur the othe home ownership at a decade low
Apr 26, 2012 2:04PM
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yet below this story is this

Home ownership rates fall to decade low



comedy channel material kiddos. Its all smoke and mirrors to keep obama in office for more free taxpayer dollars, that is his base right? lol

Apr 26, 2012 1:51PM
Apr 26, 2012 1:50PM
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Does the media think we have short term memory loss?  On one day, the housing market hasn't hit bottom yet the economic recovery is shaky.  The very next day, the housing market is up and the recovery is in full swing.  I mean seriously, not all of us are idiots.  We read the articles, we see the trends, and we know the closer we get to an election - miraculously gas prices lower, the housing market is better, unemployment is lower, and the economy is stronger.

Apr 26, 2012 1:34PM
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Where s this writer coming up with this idea that the market is or will increase. Still too many people out of work or working low paying jobs with no hope of buying a house on the horizon for them. Have to agree that homes that seem to be being bought are by those who have money and are landing good buys. Stictly investments.
Apr 26, 2012 1:30PM
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You will see much of such optimism from now until the election.

The Mainstream Media=Pravda.

Apr 26, 2012 1:28PM
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People hear all this "good" news that sales are up.  Yes, just spoke to an agent in Phoenix AZ who has 10 homes in escrow.  Houses that once were selling for $350,000.  All 10 escrows are for homes under $50,000.  that's FIFTY thousand...you do the math.  I'm A REALTOR...don't believe what NAR is telling you. they just made GREED their top priority and so they want buyers to go out and buy.
Apr 26, 2012 1:17PM
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Apparently the author of this story did not account for the bad news facing this country released by the Federal Reserve Chairman today. The outlook is not good at all. Until we come to happy medium between the number of gov employees and the private sector, it is going to hurt.
Apr 26, 2012 1:12PM
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FALSE BOTTOM - LIE AGAIN !       Devil

 

 

PRICES MAY FALL Another 50 plus Percent !

 

Multi-Millions of foreclosures coming  to the market over the next few years!

 

Two times as many people with homes with loans underwater keeping up with their payments.

 

 

Lenders just trying to snag The Stupid !

Apr 26, 2012 1:03PM
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From my experience with friends and neighbors around me - it seems like it's the rich that are dipping back into the housing market looking for a good investment.  7 of 7 friends who all short-sold their homes, sold them to all cash buyers who then rented them out either to the seller or a new tenant.  I am seeing the same pattern with my neighbors.  I'm not sure we should get so excited about the uptick just yet.
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