Pending Home Sales Rise to Two-Year High

2 09 2009

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said housing affordability, the first-time buyer tax credit and lower interest rates have combined to increase the number of Americans purchasing homes for the six straight month.

NAR went on to say pending home sales for July increased 3.2 percent to 97.6, the highest level since June 2007, up from 94.6 in June and 12 percent higher than a year ago, when it was 87.1.

In the South, pending home sales activity rose 3.1 percent to an index of 103.8 in July and is 12 percent above July 2008.

NAR estimates that about 1.8 million to 2 million first-time buyers will take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit this year, with about 350,000 additional sales that would not have taken place without the credit. The deadline to qualify for the credit is Nov. 30. However, NAR President Charles McMillan said the organization is encouraging Congress to extend the deadline into 2010 and expand it to all buyers of primary residences. “The faster we stabilize home prices, the fewer families will face foreclosure and the quicker credit can be extended to other sectors of the economy,” he said.

Existing-home sales to rise through the fourth quarter.

Source: National Association of Realtors

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