Pending Home Sales Rise for Third Month in a Row

RISMEDIA reported record low mortgage interest rates boosted pending home sales for the third consecutive month, with some benefit now from the first-time buyer tax credit, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in April, rose 6.7% which is 3.2% above April 2008.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said buyers are responding to very favorable market conditions. “Housing affordability conditions have been at historic highs, but now the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit is beginning to impact the market,” he said. “Since first-time buyers must finalize their purchase by November 30 to get the credit, we expect greater activity in the months ahead, and that should spark more sales by repeat buyers.”

The Pending Home Sales Index in the Northeast shot up 32.6% to 78.9 in April and is 0.8% above a year ago. In the Midwest the index rose 9.8% to 90.4 and is 11.1% above April 2008. The index in the South slipped 0.2% to 93.0 in April but is 3.5% higher than a year ago. In the West the index rose 1.8% to 94.8 but is 2.9% below April 2008.

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