NAR’s latest pending home sales index, which is based on contracts signed in August, rose 7.4 percent from July, reaching its highest level since June 2007. The index is 8.8 percent higher than a year ago. The August index rose month-over-month in all four regions: 18.4 percent in the West; 3.6 percent in the Midwest; 8.4 percent in the Northeast; and 2.3 percent in the South. Compared to year-ago figures, the South fell 2.1 percent while the Midwest, West and Northeast all saw increases: 6.6 percent, 37.8 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.
According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, homeowners are responding to improved affordability, especially in California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Rhode Island and Washington D.C. “It’s unclear how much contract activity may be impacted by the credit disruptions on Wall Street, but we’re hopeful most of the increase will translate into closed existing-home sales.”