Industry News

Pending real estate sales drop for third month

'High plateau' expected for housing in 2006

Pending home sales slowed for the third straight month in November, demonstrating "that a market transition is firmly in place," the National Association of Realtors reported today. The Realtor trade group's Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on contracts signed in November, dropped 2.5 percent to a reading of 120.6 from 123.7 in October, and is 2.5 percent lower than November 2004. After climbing to 129.2 in August, the index has dropped every month since. The index is derived from pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed; pending home sales typically are finalized within one or two months of signing, the association noted. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said in a statement, "Although pending home sales are trending down from a record in August, the index remains well above a mark that is considered to be historically strong." An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract ...