August 2010 Market Pulse

The latest housing indicators for the real estate market.

August 1, 2010

Existing-Home Sales for April: 5.77 million

This is a 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 for April: 110.9

This index measures housing contract activity. An index of 100 is equal to the level of activity during 2001, the benchmark year.

Source: NAR Research

Tax Credit Fuels Sales Surge

Existing-home sales rose a strong 7.6 percent in April to 5.77 million units from 5.36 million* in March, and NAR’s forward-looking Pending Home Sales Index also saw a significant gain of 6 percent to a level of 110.9 from 104.6* in March, suggesting the home buyer tax credit, along with low interest rates, encouraged buyers to enter the market.

*Revised from figure published in the previous issue.

Confidence in Buyers Drops

Business confidence among practitioners largely rose in April, driven by rising sales. Practitioners say they expect seller traffic to stay solid in the next six months but their confidence doesn’t extend to buyers, possibly because of the expired home buyer tax credit.

Results are based on 1,810 responses to 6,000 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.

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.