There is more evidence that the housing market is starting to turn. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending home sales continued to gain in November and reached the highest level in 19 months. The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 7.3 percent to 100.1 in November (from an upwardly revised 93.3 in October) and is 5.9 percent above November 2010 when it stood at 94.5. The October upward revision resulted in a 10.4 percent monthly gain.
This is consistent with our experience in Atlanta’s in town market. In fact, several realtors I have spoken with this past week are reporting significantly increases in call volume from both local and out-of-town buyers. According to NAR, the last time the index was higher was in April 2010 when it reached 111.5 as buyers rushed to beat the deadline for the home buyer tax credit. The data reflects contracts but not closings. Our internal company forecast is for steady improving conditions in 2012.