October 2010 Market Pulse

The latest housing indicators for the real estate market.

October 1, 2010

Existing-Home Sales rate for July: 3.83 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 July: 79.4

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)

Fewer Closings, Outlook Improves

Existing-home sales fell a steep 27.2 percent in July to an annual sales pace of 3.83 million units from 5.26 million units in the previous month. Home values remained stable, with the national median price up 0.7 percent from the year earlier. Meanwhile, NAR’s forward-looking Pending Home Sales Index shows an uptick in contract signings, signaling that home sales could begin to turn around in the fall. The index rose 5.2 percent to a level of 79.4 from 75.5 in June. *Revised from figure published in the previous issue

Market Concerns Persist

Confidence in market conditions among practitioners in August remained down from the spring but the decline is moderating. The outlook for seller traffic was statistically stable compared with July, and the outlook for buyer traffic fell modestly. Confidence should improve if sales pick up in the fall, as is expected.

Results are based on 2,228 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 REALTOR.org. You’ll find more recent editions of Market Pulse here.