Pending home sales stable in November

Dec. 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Pending Home Sales Index arrested a five-month slide in November, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

The trade group's Pending Home Sales Index rose 0.2 percent to 101.7 from a downwardly revised October level of 101.5.

The index is 1.6 percent lower than the November 2012 reading of 103.3.

Until November, the index had slipped in every month since May, when it hit a six-year peak.

With negligible gains in November, "we may have reached a cyclical low because the positive fundamentals of job creation and household formation are likely to foster a fairly stable level of new contract activity in 2014," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

The Pending Home Sales Index, which reflects sales activity one and two months down the road, is a comparison to the monthly average for 2001, its first year, which was assigned a value of 100.

Taking a longer view, Yun noted the housing market was closing out the year "on a soft note."

However, "the year as a whole will end up with the best sales total in seven years," he said.

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