The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports pending home sales reached its highest level in 19 months, increasing 7.3 percent from Oct. to Nov. 2011. Measuring mortgage contracts signed as an indicator of possible home closings, the index reached 100.1 in November, 5.9 percent higher than the 94.5 index last November. The index last crossed the 100 point mark in April 2010, likely the result of the federal homebuyer tax credit. According to HousingWire, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says, “Some of the increase in pending home sales appears to be from buyers recommitting after an initial contract ran into problems, often with the mortgage.” The entire nation witnessed the increase in pending home sales. Rick Sharga, executive vice president at Carrington Mortgage Services, says, “It’s hard to get a fix on the housing market, as pending sales continue to improve, while existing home sales remain sluggish and prices continue to fall.” Several major homebuilder stocks rose in Thursday’s trading, including D.R. Horton, Pulte Group, KB Home, Beazer Homes, and Toll Bros.
(Graphic credit: National Association of Realtors)