NAR: Pending homes rise in Sept. on strength in West and Midwest

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Pending home sales climbed 0.5% to an index reading of 104.6 in September, after a revised 1.9% fall to 104.1 in August, according to a report released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors.

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

August’s figure was first reported as a 1.8% drop to 104.2.

Year-over-year the pending homes sales index decreased 1.0% from last September, when the index was 105.7. This is the ninth consecutive month sales have dropped on an annual basis.

IFR Markets predicted the index would be unchanged.

Regionally, pending sales were mixed. Northeast sales fell 0.4% to 92.3 and sales slid 1.4% in the South to 119.6. In the Midwest sales gained 1.2% to 102.4, while sales rose 4.5% in the West to 93.1.

The rise in this report “shows that buyers are out there on the sidelines, waiting to jump in once more inventory becomes available and the price is right,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

“When compared to the year 2000, when the housing market was considered very healthy, and home sales figures were roughly equivalent and the affordability conditions were much lower compared to now. So even though affordability has been falling recently, the demand for housing should remain steady,” he said.

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