February 2011 Market Pulse

Existing-Home Sales RATE for November 4.68 Million

February 1, 2011

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 November:  92.2

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

Signs of Solid Stabilization

Existing-home sales rose a strong 5.6 percent in November to an annual sales pace of 4.68 million units, the highest sales pace in several months. It suggests the housing market is stabilizing without the help of artificial stimuli such as the tax credit. NAR’s forward-looking Pending

Home Sales Index for November was also up, a solid 3.5 percent, indicating more strength in home sales in the months ahead.

*Revised from figure published in the previous issue.

Strengthening Confidence in Buyers

In nearly all indicators, practitioner confidence in housing sales currently and over the next several months is on an upswing. In December, practitioners believed they would see improved buyer traffic and that overall business would improve. To a lesser extent, they believed seller traffic would gain.

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.

Lawrence Yun
Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of REALTORS®

Yun oversees and is responsible for a wide range of research activity for the association including NAR’s Existing Home Sales statistics, Affordability Index, and Home Buyers and Sellers Profile Report. He regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1.3 million REALTOR® members.

Dr. Yun creates NAR’s forecasts and participates in many economic forecasting panels, among them the Blue Chip Council and the Wall Street Journal Forecasting Survey. He also participates in the Industrial Economists Discussion Group at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. He appears regularly on financial news outlets, is a frequent speaker at real estate conferences throughout the United States, and has testified before Congress. Dr. Yun has appeared as a guest on CSPAN’s Washington Journal and is a regular guest columnist on the Forbes website and The Hill, an “inside the beltway” publication on public affairs.

Dr. Yun received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park.