Pending Home Sales Rise for Eighth Straight Month
Published: Monday, 2 Nov 2009 | 11:50 AM ET Text Size
Pending home sales rose for the eighth straight month in September as new home buyers rushed to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit before it expires at the end of the month, according to an industry group.
Pending home sales rose 6.1 percent in September, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The National Association of Realtors said Monday that pending home sales rose 6.1 percent to 110.1 from 103.8 in August. It was the largest annual increase on record and marked the longest streak of gains since the measurement began in 2001. It was also the highest level in nearly three years.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast pending home sales, which lead existing home sales by one to two months, to be flat.
"What we're witnessing is a rush of first-time buyers trying to beat the expiration of the tax credit at the end of this month," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Home values will stabilize sooner rather than over-correcting. That, in turn, will mean wealth stabilization for the vast number of middle-class families and lay the foundation for a durable economic recovery."
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The group estimates about 3 million renters are now financially well-qualified to buy a median-priced home, and Yun said if buyers stay within their budget, there will be a sizable pent-up demand.