A stabilization for housing?

Higher sales a ray of hope among foreclosures, unemployment

Sales of existing homes increased a larger-than-expected 7.2 percent in July, compared to June 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. Pending sales rose 6.7 percent in June 2009 from a year ago and 3.6 percent compared to the previous month. This was the fifth month in a row that the pending-sale index increased.

Pending sales are sales where an offer has been accepted, but the sale has not yet closed. Even though some pending sales never close, pending sales are an indicator of current buyer activity. This increase can be attributed to low interest rates, a pickup in foreclosure sales and improved affordability.