Industry News

Pending real estate sales slide

National index down for fourth consecutive month

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A National Association of Realtors index based on pending sales of existing homes dipped 5.5 percent in December compared to December 2004, and slipped 3 percent from November 2005. Pending sales have dropped steadily from a record index of 129.2 last August, the association reported, to 116.4 in December 2005. Regionally, the Pending Home Sales Index increased 1.5 percent in the Northeast to 90.7 but was 11.1 percent below December 2004. The index in the Midwest dropped 9.3 percent to a level of 105.8 and was 11 percent below December 2004. The index in the West fell 8.1 percent to 117.1 in December and was 11.8 percent lower than a year ago. In the South, the index rose 2.3 percent in December to 135.9 and was 4.1 percent above December 2004. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed and the transaction has not closed, but the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing, the association noted. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of co...