Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing market is “clearly” on a recovery path, a viewpoint echoed by economic advisor Joel Naroff.
“At this point, we’re likely to see a steady improvement in sales,” he said.
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According to the National Association of REALTORS®, pending home sales increased in February with notable regional variations.
The numbers are based off of the Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator.
February hit 90.8 percent, up from 88.9 in January.
Although this month-to-month trend is promising, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that it is more important to look at the broader trend for housing recovery.
“Month-to-month movements can be instructive, but in this uneven recovery it’s important to look at the longer term performance. Pending home sales have trended up very nicely since bottoming out last June, even with periodic monthly declines.”
– Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist
Yun also said we may not see notable gains in existing home sales in the near-term. However, numbers are expected to rise 5 to 10 percent this year with the economic recovery, job creation, and excellent affordability rasing buyer confidence.
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This boom in sales will help to bolster a housing market that has received plenty of bad press recently for its troubles. David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Homebuilders, said new home sales will rise approximately 20 percent to 385,000 this year.
Despite the predicted increase, some experts believe the contracts written for new home sales will be “good” but not “great” – at least initially. As the weather transitions to spring, it is expected that the sales pace for new homes will begin its upward climb.
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According to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report, national home prices jumped 3.6% over the past year. Despite many recent news stories detailing the troubles of the housing industry, the market is stabilizing, a good sign for both buyers and homeowners alike.
“While the numbers are upbeat, other more recent data on home sales and mortgages point to fewer gains ahead. Even with concerns about near term developments, we recognize that the housing market is in better shape than this time last year.”
– David M. Blitzer, Index Committee Chairman at Standard & Poor’s
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