The housing market cooled slightly this month. Newspaper accounts accurately reported rising listings in New York, Washington, D.C., Florida and California, yet listings in those markets still remain low by historical standards. Consumer confidence plunged, as it always does after a major international disaster (Hurricane Katrina). Rumors of slowing new-home sales in California and Florida permeated the industry, yet our phone calls to local sales offices, real estate agents and market consultants found that sales and traffic had only slightly slowed. Is this the beginning of the gradual slowdown forecast by most analysts? It could be, but this type of slowing has occurred at least twice per year over the last five years, so it is too soon to declare a trend. To help stay on top of market conditions, we added a new leading indicator from the National Association of Realtors to our U.S. Housing Market Statistics. The NAR's Pending Home Sales Index, which is leading because it is based ...
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by Brandon Doyle | Today 9:27 A.M.