Skip to comments.Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Slide in April
Posted on 05/30/2012 7:43:30 AM PDT by mykroar
Contracts to purchase previously owned homes unexpectedly fell in April to a four-month low, undermining some of the recent optimism that the housing sector was touching bottom.
The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in April, fell 5.5 percent to 95.5, its lowest level since December.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected signed contracts, which lead existing home sales by a month or two, to rise 0.1 percent after a previously reported 4.1 percent gain.
The housing market has been one of the U.S. economy's weakest links as it recovers from the 2007-09 recession, but many economists think the sector will actually add to economic growth in 2012 for the first time since 2005.
The report on pending contracts in April could temper some of that optimism.
Millions of Americans owe more on their homes than they are worth, making them more cautious about spending and holding back the economic recovery.
After a debt-fueled housing bubble, prices have fallen about a third since 2006 according to some measures and the housing market continues to be saddled with an oversupply of unsold properties.
There have been some signs that the deflation in prices could be bottoming out. On Tuesday, the S&P/Case Shiller composite index showed home prices rose for the second month in a row in March.
But Wednesday's report showed contracts fell 12 percent in the western United States and 6.8 percent in the South. Contracts edged lower in the Midwest and rose slightly in the Northeast.
The National Association of Realtors downplayed the declines.
"All of the major housing market indicators are expected to trend gradually up," said Lawrence Yun, chief NAR economist.
Signed contracts were up 14.4 percent in the 12 months to April.
STOP HOLDING UP THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY, peoPLE!!!
One couldn't find a renter after 5 months and is now trying to sell starting at an $18K loss.
It will be interesting to see how hard that'll be to sell since the home next door to it has gone into foreclosure so will also be on sale soon. Potential buyers will wonder what's going on--and they should!
We're stuck in an endless "Summer of Recovery" of stagnation. Many more of us who had savings or assets to weather an economic setback are now exhausted and being pulled under. Since we were better prepared and the economy is "improving," we don't get the "help" of those who didn't plan.
Mine sold Apr 6. Not much of a profit, and I was thankful I got that.
Now’s theoretically a time to buy, but I don’t want to buy in Mass. Then I’m here forever. And certainly not while that incompetent is in the Oval.
I dumped mine cheap about a year ago (thankfully no loss - originally bought as a HUD home) and am renting until 0bama gets the boot (assuming there’s an election - see sig).
Can we blame obama for this mess ???
obama should have put a floor under housing first thing.
he encouraged unemployment to linger, he let people walk away from their home loans. so what do you expect the outcome would be — this, the downward spiral mess we’re in today.
Vote him out of office now.
That “recent optimism “ is mostly a measure of how much a bunch of short-sighted dunderheads we have doing the “forecasting”.
All the years I was growing up it cost 6% to buy a house. Just as I got out of school in 1966 mortgage rates started creeping up. By the time I bought my first house in 1970 I had to pay 8 3/8%, on their way up, and rates never got back to that level until the mid 90’s. These current 3% and 4% rates are an extreme distortion in the real world of long term finance. They can’t last for long because no lender is going to stay in business lending his own money that cheaply.
It is a severe measure of just how P1$$ poor shape our economy is in that people still can’t afford a house at these low rates.
I’ve said for years that 1997 was the last reasonable base line and recovery won’t begin until prices and wages settle in around that level. Until that happens we’re going to have to listen to a whole lot of people talking thru their sphincters.
Thanks for the link, that looks like a good analysis. Interesting looking site.
all the bad news has been unexpected for the past 30+ months it seems
Got their taxes done, realized they can’t afford a house, and weaseled out of their deals. Unexpected? Huh.
Unexpected Summer IV.
Can we live through any more?
Used house prices should start going up again in about 20 years, after most of us Baby Boomers have died off. Until then, prices should go down.
Uh, maybe that is why he still has the job. Speakers of the truth, especially in financial matters, are not well received by the servers or drinkers of the Kool Aid.
Plus several other not-very-nice descriptive terms....:))
the Federal Reserve board cut my house value by 50% almost overnite, its not that no one would buy the house, its that the federal reserve board wont loan that amount on it on it
, work sucks, just borrowed $500 to make the mnortgage this month,
getting ready to stop paying and tell the federal reserve board to go screw themselves for stealing half the houses value and take their phony monopoly money and shove it
Property markets are always regional. What is it like in your area? I take there is a pick up.
Very well said.
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