Pending Home Sales Hold in Stable Range

NAR’s forward-looking pending home sales index eased against a deteriorating economic backdrop but remains in a stable range, the association says.  The index, based on contracts signed in October, slipped 0.7 percent to 88.9 from an upwardly revised reading of 89.5 in September, and is 1.0 percent below October 2007, when it was 89.8.  “Despite the turmoil in the economy, the overall level of pending home sales has been remarkably stable over the past year, holding in a generally narrow range,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.  “We did see a spike in August when mortgage conditions temporarily improved, which underscores two things: there is pent-up demand, and buyers will enter the market when they have access to safe, affordable mortgages.”