Industry News

Pending real estate sales fall for third month

Declines greatest in Midwest, West

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An index that tracks pending home sales fell for the third consecutive month in April, the National Association of Realtors reported, dropping 3.7 percent since March and 11.7 percent since April 2005. The Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on pending sales of existing homes, was 111.8 in April 2006. 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 reported. The level of monthly sales-contract activity from 2001 through 2004 has been shown to parallel the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, the first year to be examined, and was the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales. The association also noted that the index is based on a large national sample and typically represents about 20 percent of transactions for exis...