Tuesday, March 3, 2009
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Pending home sales sank to a record low in January, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors.
The Pending Home Sales Index, which measures the number of sales contracts signed each month, fell 7.7% to 80.4 from a downwardly revised reading of 87.1 in December. That’s the lowest level since tracking began in 2001.
A consensus estimate of analysts polled by Briefing.com predicted a decline of 3.5% to 84.2.
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The index is 6.4% below January 2008, when it stood at 85.9.
“Even with many serious potential home buyers on the sidelines waiting for passage of the stimulus bill, job losses and weak consumer confidence were a natural drag on home sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, in the report.
Usually a one- to two-month lag exists between a contract and a completed deal. January’s pending home sales are likely to be finished in the coming weeks.
This article was posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 11:06 am