Sales of existing homes in the West bucked the national trend in September with pending sales in the region up 3.5%, as opposed to a national decrease of -1.8%, according to an index produced by the National Assocation of Realtors. The NAR index is based on pending sales of existing homes, including single-family homes and condominiums. A home sale is pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction hasn't closed. Pending sales typically close within one or two months of signing.
Home sales had been increasing in volume steadily since their dramatic drop in June after the expiry of the Federal tax credit. The decrease in volume across the country was attributed to foreclosure moratoriums which reduced the supply of available homes.
The NAR's chief economist, David Yun, said "Existing-home sales have shown some improvement but the foreclosure moratorium is likely to cause some disruption and contribute to an uneven sales performance in the months ahead". Looking ahead, the NAR is forecasting an increase of 300,000 sales nationwide in 2011. "We've added 30 million people to the U.S. population over the past 10 years, but sales are where they were in 2000, so there appears to be a sizable pent-up demand that could come to the market once the economy gathers momentum," Yun said.