March/April 2013 Market Pulse

March 15, 2013

Home sales are improving, but NAR analysts say the market would see at least a half-million more sales a year if lenders would return credit conditions to historically normal standards. About half of all borrowers today have credit scores above 740. That’s 10 percentage points higher than the period just prior to the boom, 2001–2004, when loan performance was generally solid. All trend lines are from January 2012 to January 2013.

Existing-home sales 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 is an index that measures housing contract activity. An index of 100 is equal to the level of activity during  2001, the benchmark year. Inventory measures the number of existing homes on the market at the end of the month. Buyer and seller traffic, current conditions, six-month expectations, and time on market derive from a monthly REALTOR® Confidence Index. Results for January are based on 3,586 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). Some data may be revised from previous issues.

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.

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