Industry News

Pending real estate sales hit record

Sales expected to remain at record level for next two months

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Pending home sales have risen to a record level, the National Association of Realtors reported today. The trade group's Pending Home Sales Index, designed to serve as a leading indicator for the housing sector, is derived from pending sales of existing homes. A sale is described as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not been finalized. Pending home sales typically close within one or two months of signing. Based on contracts signed in August, the index rose 3.2 percent to a reading of 129.5, and is 4.7 percent higher than August 2004. The previous record was 128.1 in October 2004. A Pending Home Sales Index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, the first year to be analyzed, and was the first of four consecutive record years for existing-home sales. Sales in 2001 were fairly close to the higher volume of home sales expected in the coming decade, well above the levels that were seen in the mid-1990s, so an index of 100...