Big jump in pending home sales


 The latest report on housing sales shows a big gain, with pending sales of existing homes in February jumping 8.2 percent from the previous month.

Compared to a year earlier, pending sales were up 17.3 percent.

 The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index measures contracts signed but not closed, and is a more forward-looking indicator of sales.

“The rise in buyer contact activity may signal the early stages of a second surge of home sales this spring,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “We need a second surge to meaningfully draw down inventory and definitively stabilize home values.”

NAR says there are also reports of multiple offers on houses for sale.

The group previously reported existing home sales, or those transactions closed, slipped 0.6 percent in February.

The home-buyer tax credit, expanded to include more than just first-time homebuyers, will expire at the end of April, although the deadline requires buyers only to have a contract signed by the end of the month. In order to qualify for the tax deduction, the sale must close by the end of June.

In the Albuquerque metro area, February saw 380 single-family detached home sales, up 10.79 percent from February 2009 and up 8.88 percent from the previous month, according the the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.

GAAR statistics also show:

Pending sales for single-family detached homes are up 46.98 percent from the previous year and increased 5.27 percent from the previous month.
Market activity in the Rio Rancho area shows significant improvements when compared to February 2009, with a 37.35 percent increase in detached home sales and a 104.11 percent increase in the number of pending sales.

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