July/August 2011 Market Pulse

July 1, 2011

Existing-Home Sales Rate For May

4.8 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 May 


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

  Market Constraints Hold Back Sales

Tornadoes and other extreme weather events, along with continuing hurdles in buyers’ ability to get financing and close deals, are curbing home sales. Existing-home sales were down 3.8 percent in May from the previous month. Looking ahead, NAR’s pending home sales index for April is down, while May’s pending sales indicated an increase of 8.2 percent over April’s dip.

*Revised from figure published in the previous issue.


Confidence Stabilizes

Despite continuing market hurdles, practitioners’ confidence in home sales is holding steady, although the six-month outlook is down marginally. For current conditions, confidence is up slightly, suggesting optimism about near-term sales.

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.