Pending home sales rose 3.2 percent from June to July, with a surge in sales in the Western U.S. outweighing declines in the Northeast and Midwest, the National Association of Realtors said today.

It was the sixth consecutive monthly increase in pending home sales, a trend that NAR Chief Economist Lawyrence Yun expects to continue before falling off in the first quarter of 2010 if a tax credit for first-time homebuyers is allowed to expire Nov. 30.

Pending home sales rose 3.2 percent from June to July, with a surge in sales in the western U.S. outweighing declines in the Northeast and Midwest, the National Association of Realtors said today.

It was the sixth consecutive monthly increase in pending home sales, a trend that NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects to continue before falling off in the first quarter of 2010 if a tax credit for first-time homebuyers is allowed to expire Nov. 30.

NAR’s pending home sales index increased 3.2 percent from June to July and was up 12 percent from a year ago, NAR said. The index, based on contracts signed but not closed, is at the highest level since June 2007.

Pending home sales were up 12.1 percent from June to July in the West and 3.1 percent in the South, but fell 3 percent in the Northeast and 2 percent in the Midwest regions. All four regions saw a year-over-year increase in pending home sales, led by the West (20 percent) and followed by the South (12 percent), Midwest (8.1 percent) and Northeast (4.7 percent).

Yun said housing affordability has been at record highs this year, and that the added stimulus of an $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit has generated about 350,000 additional sales.

Although 1.8 million to 2 million homebuyers are expected to take advantage of the credit, NAR is urging Congress to extend it into 2010 and make it available to all buyers.

"Unless the tax credit is extended, no one should be surprised to see home sales drop in the first quarter of next year," Yun said in a press release. With housing market fundamentals and the economy picking up, NAR expects home sales to pick up again in the second quarter of 2010, Yun said.

Bills pending in both houses would extend the credit for another year. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., is co-sponsoring a bill by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., that would increase the maximum amount of the credit to $15,000.

***

What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Prepare for this fall with top agents & brokers at Connect Now this Tuesday.GET YOUR TICKET×
Limited time: Get 30 days of Inman Select for $5.SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription