Pend­ing Home Sales Rise As Tax Law Dims Out­look

The Bond Buyer - - Market News - — Gary E. Siegel

Pend­ing home sales rose 0.2% to an in­dex read­ing of 109.5 in Novem­ber, from an un­re­vised 3.5% gain to 109.3 in Oc­to­ber, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased Wed­nes­day by the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors.

An in­dex of 100 is equal to the av­er­age level of con­tract ac­tiv­ity dur­ing 2001.

Year-over-year the pend­ing homes sales in­dex in­creased 0.8% from last Novem­ber, when the in­dex was 108.6.

IFR Mar­kets pre­dicted the in­dex would be up 1.5%.

Re­gion­ally, pend­ing sales were mixed. The North­east saw a 4.1% rise to 98.9, and sales gained 0.4% to 105.8 in the Mid­west, while de­clin­ing 0.4% in the South to 123.1 , and drop­ping 1.8% in the West to 100.4.

“The strength­en­ing econ­omy, and ex­pec­ta­tion that more mil­len­ni­als will want to buy, serve as promis­ing signs for solid home­buy­ing de­mand next year, while also putting ad­di­tional pres­sure on in­ven­tory lev­els and af­ford­abil­ity,” ac­cord­ing to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Sales do have room for growth in most ar­eas, but na­tion­ally, over­all ac­tiv­ity could be slightly neg­a­tive. Mar­kets with high home prices and prop­erty taxes will likely feel some im­pact from the re­duced tax ben­e­fits of own­ing a home.”

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