Industry News

Pending home sales drop 22% in August

NAR index reaches record low

A National Association of Realtors index that measures pending sales of previously owned homes dived 21.5 percent in August compared to the same month last year and fell below the previous record reached in September 2001. The Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on contracts signed in real estate purchase transactions that have not yet closed, fell 27.1 percent in the West, 21.3 percent in the South, 18.3 percent in the Northeast and 18 percent in the Midwest in August compared to August 2006. A sale is typically finalized within two months of a signed contract, so the index is considered a leading indicator for future sales of existing homes. The index is based on a large national sample that typically represents about 20 percent of resale transactions. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined in the index and the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales. The index rating was...