Pending Home Sales Rise

The National Association of Realtors reported on Monday that the September Pending Home Sales Index jumped 6.1% t0 110.1 after a 6.4% rise in August. The big rise far surpassed analysts’ expectations who anticipated a more modest rise of 1.2%. Most economists contributed the large increase to the estimated 200,000 to 400,000 first-time homebuyers rushing to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit set to expire on November 30th. To that end, many analysts are anticipating a drop in pending home sales after November 30th. The NAR report helped offset a Commerce Department report last Thursday that showed new home sales fell unexpectedly on September after rising for five straight months. Commerce said new home sales fell 3.6% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 402,000. It was the first decline since March. Ironically, the drop was also attributed in part to the expiring first-time buyer credit. Go figure.
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