Pending home sales rise in July

August 29, 2012

The National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose to its highest level in more than two years.

A day after a report showed housing prices nationally posting an annual gain came news that the number of contracts on single-family homes, condos and co-ops increased 2.4 percent from the previous month. The index rose to 101.7 in July, up from 99.3 in June and 12.4 percent above July 2011 when it was 90.5.

The last time the index was this high was April 2010, which was shortly before the deadline for the first-time homebuyer tax credit.

“While the month-to-month movement has been uneven, more importantly we now have 15 consecutive months of year-over-year gains in contract activity,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

In the Washington region, the pending sales data was mixed. Alexandria was the only area to show an increase from June to July. According to RBIntel, there were 188 pending sales in Alexandria in July, up 2.17 percent from June.

Arlington showed one of the biggest drops in pending sales, down 21.15 percent from June, but up 10 percent from July 2011. Prince George’s County was down 11.37 percent from June. Montgomery County was down 14.02 percent. The District was down 12.55 percent.

Kathy Orton is a reporter and Web editor for the Real Estate section. She covers the Washington metropolitan area housing market.
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