The Real Deal Miami

U.S. pending home sales near healthy levels

April 28, 2011 01:38PM

U.S. pending home sales rose in March and the index is nearing
historically healthy levels, according to a National Association of
Realtors report released today. The index jumped to 94.1 from 89.5 in
February, inching closer to the 100 mark, which is considered to signify
market health. Last month’s index is far below the 106.2 achieved last
March, but that can be attributed to elevated activity in advance of the
home buyer tax credit’s expiration, the NAR said. The housing market is
weakest in the Northeast, where pending home sales declined 3.2 percent
to 63.4, while strongest in the South where pending home sales rose
10.3 percent to 110.2. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said he
expected the national upward trend to continue, especially in the lower
segment of the market. “Based on the current uptrend with very favorable
affordability conditions, rising apartment rents and ongoing job
creation, existing-home sales should rise around 5 to 10 percent this
year with sales growth of lower priced homes likely to outperform
high-end homes,” he said. TRD