According to the National Association of Relators, pending home sales slipped in August with a mixed regional performance but are higher than a year ago.
Interestingly, the Pending Home Sales Index (PSHI), a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, indicates that the downward trend did not occur in the south:
The PHSI in the Northeast fell 5.8 percent to 63.6 in August but is 1.3 percent higher than August 2010. In the Midwest the index declined 3.7 percent to 76.2 in August but is 8.2 percent above a year ago. Pending home sales in the South rose 2.6 percent to an index of 96.9 and are 7.6 percent higher than August 2010. In the West the index declined 2.4 percent to 108.1 in August but is 10.5 percent above a year ago.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said:
We continue to experience a pattern in which financially qualified home buyers, willing to stay well within their means, are being denied credit, a factor in elevated levels of contract failures. Based on the improving fundamentals of population growth, some job additions, rent increases and higher stock market wealth, we should be seeing existing-home sales closer to 5.5 million, but are expecting just over 4.9 million this year. The unnecessarily restrictive mortgage underwriting standards are attenuating the housing recovery and are a risk factor for the overall economy.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
For more information about the Atlanta market, visit www.EpicDevelopment.com or call Jim LaVallee at 404-847-9080.