Posted on Wednesday, February 3, 2010
In November, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed during the month, fell to 95.6, a 16.4 percent decrease from surging activity in preceding months due to the anticipated expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. Following the extension and expansion of the credit, though, the PHSI in December jumped 1 percent to 96.6 and remained 10.9 percent above December 2008 when it was 87.1.
December’s PHSI varied from region to region. Compared to November, the PHSI in the Northeast jumped 2.3
percent to 76.1 and was 14.9 percent higher than December 2008. The Midwest’s index of 86.9 was 5.2 percent higher than November and 8.7 percent above a year earlier.
In the South, pending home sales in December rose 2.2 percent from November to an index of 98.4, a 5.5 percent surge year-over-year. However, the index in the West fell 3.8 percent in December to 119.9 but was still 18.6 percent higher than the index one year earlier.
One of the greatest benefits of rising sales will be firming home prices.