June 2011 Market Pulse

Existing-Home Sales Rate for March: 5.1 million

June 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 March: 94.1

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

Upswing Points to Solid Gain

Existing-home sales were helped by continuing high affordability, low interest rates, and an improved jobs picture, rising to a solid 3.7 percent in March to a 5.1 million unit sales pace, from 4.92 million* the prior month. The upward climb is expected to continue based on solid gains in NAR’s forward-looking Pending Home Sales Index, which increased more than 5 percent to a score of 94.1 from 90.8 the month before.

*Revised from figure published in the

previous issue.

Confidence Rises Steadily

Buoyed by solid sales as the spring selling season kicks in, practitioners’ confidence in the home sales market—now and for the remainder of the year—continues to head up steadily. Confidence in buyer traffic is up notably, suggesting households and investors are increasingly active in the market.

Results are based on 2,512 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.