This is a seasonally adjusted annual rate, which is the actual rate of sales for the month, multiplied by 12 and adjusted for seasonal sales differences.
Pending Home Sales Index for December: 96.6
This Index measures housing contract activity. An index of 100 is equal to the level of activity during 2001, the benchmark year.
Pace Cools But Gains Expected
Sales of existing-homes in December sank 16.7 percent to 5.45 million from November's 6.54 million*-a drop that was expected in light of the buying surge preceding the tax credit's initial Nov. 30 expiration date. (The credit has been extended to April 30 and expanded to include more buyers.) NAR's forward-looking Pending Home Sales Index suggests sales will pick up again until mid-2010. Sales for all of 2009 rose 4.9 percent to 5.2 million units.
*Revised from figure published in the previous issue.
Year Kicks Off on Upbeat Note
Confidence among practitioners at the beginning of 2010 continued to gain across the board, buttressed by strong sales in November as buyers rushed to close deals to get the tax credit. The strengthening confidence suggests that practitioners expect solid sales through the first half of the year.
Results are based on 3,126 responses to 6,000 surveys sent to large and small real estate offices. The survey asks practitioners to indicate whether conditions are strong (100 points), moderate (50), or weak (0). Responses are averaged to derive results.