December 2008 Market Pulse

Existing single-family home sales were up in September as buyers took advantage of low prices.

December 1, 2008

Sales Still Up

The EHS sales pace was 5.18 million units, up 5.5 percent from 4.91 million in August. NAR’s forward-looking pending home sales index dipped to 89.2 from 93.5 in August, but was 1.4 percentage points higher than the 87.8 index in September 2007.

Improvement Seen for Spring

Practitioners’ expectations for sales activity over the next six months is up at the prospect of a solid spring shopping season. Confidence in current seller and buyer traffic remains down, but federal efforts to shore up the economy haven’t kicked in yet.

Results are based on 1,590 responses to 3,000 surveys sent to large and small real estate offices. The survey asks practitioners to indicate whether conditions are strong (100 points), moderate (50), or weak (0). Responses are averaged to derive results.


5.18 million
Existing-home Sales
Seasonally adjusted annual rate, which is the actual rate of sales for the month, multiplied by 12 and adjusted for seasonal sales differences.


Pending Home Sales Index The Pending Home Sales Index measures housing contract activity. An index of 100 is equal to the level of activity during 2001, the benchmark year.

Source: NAR Research

In 2012 NAR rebenchmarked its existing-home sales data going back to 2007, so reports published between 2007 and 2011 no longer contain up-to-date figures. Find the latest existing-home sales data at You’ll find more recent editions of Market Pulse here.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is the former director of multimedia communications at NAR.