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 U.S. Pending Home Sales Show Steep Drop In April

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PostSubject: U.S. Pending Home Sales Show Steep Drop In April    Sat May 28, 2011 3:15 pm

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With unusual weather and
economic softness adding to ongoing problems in the housing market, the
National Association of Realtors released a report on Friday showing a
much steeper than expected Drop in Pending Home Sales in April.

NAR said its Pending Home Sales index plunged by 11.6 percent in April following a downwardly revised 3.5 percent increase in March. Economists had expected Pending Sales to edge down by 1 percent compared to the 5.1 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

A Pending sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, "The pullback in contract signings is
disappointing and implies a slower than expected market recovery in
upcoming months."

"The economy hit a soft patch in April
from sharply rising oil prices, widespread severe weather with the
heaviest precipitation in 20 years, and a sudden rise in unemployment
claims," he added.

The Steep Drop in Pending Home Sales in April was partly due to a notable decrease in Pending Sales in the South, which fell by 17.2 percent.

Pending Home Sales in the Midwest and the West also fell by 10.4 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively, while Pending Sales in the Northeast rose by 1.7 percent.

Yun said, "No doubt the continuing excessively tight mortgage
underwriting process is making the housing market recovery unnecessarily
slow."

"Lenders and bank regulators need to be mindful of the historically low
default rates among mortgage borrowers of the past two years," he added.
"A robust economic and housing market recovery cannot occur as long as
banks continue to hold onto huge cash reserves."

With unusual weather and economic softness adding to ongoing problems in
the housing market, the National Association of Realtors released a
report on Friday showing a much steeper than expected Drop in Pending Home Sales in April.NAR said its Pending Home Sales index plunged by 11.6 percent in April following a downwardly revised 3.5 percent increase in March. Economists had expected Pending Sales to edge down by 1 percent. (Market News Provided by RTTNews)

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