Pending Home Sales Up For Fifth Straight Month

g home sales are up for the fifth consecutive month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) [link=][u]reports[/u][/link]. The last time there were five consecutive monthly gains was in July 2003. NAR's Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in June, rose 3.6% to 94.6 from an upwardly revised reading of 91.3 in May, and is 6.7% above June 2008, when it was 88.7. In June, the Pending Home Sales Index rose 0.4% in the Northeast, 0.8% in the Midwest, 7.1% in the South and 2.9% in the West. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says activity has consistently been much stronger for lower-priced homes. The group's president, Charles McMillan, noted that the government-sponsored enterprises' (GSEs) clarification that valuations should be done by appraisers with local expertise has helped matters. "This should mitigate the situation of many valuations done by out-of-area appraisers coming in below the price negotiated between buyers and sellers," says McMillan. "Hopefully, in the months ahead, we'll see an even closer relationship between contract activity and closed transactions." Nonetheless, NAR will continue to urge Congress and the GSEs' conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, to implement an 18-month moratorium on the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, which took effect in May. SOURCE: [link=]NAR


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