Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pending U.S. home sales jump in July

By The Charlotte Business Journal

First-time buyers of Chapel Hill homes kept pending home sales climbing for the sixth consecutive month in July, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The group’s Pending Home Sales Index jumped 3.2 percent in July to 97.6. The index is 12 percent higher than in July 2008.

The recovery is broad-based across the Raleigh real estate market and across most of North Carolina. Housing affordability has been at record highs this year with the added stimulus of a first-time-buyer tax credit.

The index was up in the South and West but declined in the Midwest and Northeast.

The NAR’s Housing Affordability Index for July was 158.5, up 36 points year over year.

Raleigh real estate sales will likely drop in next year’s first quarter if the tax credit isn’t extended.

However, the fundamentals of the housing market and the economy are trending up, and we expect home sales to generally pick up in the second quarter of 2010.

Existing-home sales figures for August will be released Sept. 24, and the Pending Homes Sales Index for the month will be released Oct. 1, the association says.

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