Buyers are coming back to the housing market in ever greater numbers, as an industry index measuring pending home sales contracts to purchase existing homes surged 5.2 percent in October from September.
The monthly gauge of pending home sales from the National Association of Realtors was also revised higher in September and is now up 13.2 percent from October of 2011. This is a forward looking indicator for closed sales one to two months from now.
“We’ve had very good housing affordability conditions for quite some time, but we’re seeing more impact now from steady job creation and rising consumer confidence about home buying now that home prices have clearly turned positive,” wrote Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR in a release.
Pending home sales are now at the highest level since March of 2007 and have risen, on a year-over-year basis, for 18 consecutive months. The activity, however, varies from region to region, and the Realtors say the Northeast, which saw a 0.1 percent drop in sales month-to-month- did see some impact from Hurricane Sandy.
Realtors continue to warn that while this housing recovery seems to be gaining steam, changes to the mortgage interest deduction, as well as other potential hits to the economy from the so-called “fiscal cliff,” could derail the momentum.