Pending Home Sales Sluggish
The most obvious way to predict future home sales would be to take a look at the list of homes that are under contract and waiting for closing. These are what we refer to as “Pending Home Sales” and we can track them on a daily basis in the MLS.
The real estate graph above shows the one-year trend of pending home sales, so the changes that we see are not due to the annual seasonality in any way (every point on the graph contains a full 365 days worth of information). With the tax credit ending as a stimulant to new pending home sales, this report unfortunately is showing instant feedback. Beginning with the end of the Homebuyer Tax Credit, home sales have fallen and reached a new low on November 13, 2010.
Since November 13th, we first saw a steady rise, but then the housing market has cooled to what appears to be a bumpy bottom.
Future home closings had been on the decline but appear to be stabilizing. The graph below shows that daily closed home sales might be trying to move higher and perhaps have staved off establishing a new market bottom!
The resurging market ran like gang busters from mid November until late in January, but since then we have seen a slightly downward trend in new contracts in the Tallahassee MLS. I am hoping that much of this is just a reflection of the upcoming anniversary of the end of the Homebuyer Tax Credit, where last year’s sales were stimulated through the end of April.
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