Jan 6, 2009

Pending home sales plunge to record low in Nov.

According to the USAToday, pending U.S. home sales fell to the lowest level on record in November, as the plummeting stock market and faltering economy gave more buyers cold feet, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

The index, which tracks signed contracts to purchase existing homes, fell 4% to 82.3 from a downwardly revised October reading of 85.7 in October. That was far worse than the reading of 88 that economists expected, according to Thomson Reuters.

Typically there is a one- to two-month lag between a contract and a done deal. So November's decline foreshadows bleak results for December's existing home sales numbers, set to be released Jan. 26.

Sales contracts fell around the country, but were weakest in the Northeast and Midwest. The Realtors' index was down 5.3% from November 2007, and now sits at the lowest since in its eight-year history — beating the previous record low of 83 in March 2008.

An index reading of 100 is equal to the average level of sales activity in 2001, when the index started.

For more details visit: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2009-01-06-pending-home-sales-nov_N.htm

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