ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN BIRMINGHAM AL – 08/30/2011
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Pending homes sales in July fell month-to-month for the first-time since April, but rose substantially compared to the same month a year ago, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors.
The trade group’s Pending Home Sales Index rose 14.4 percent year-over-year in July, to 89.7. That’s a 1.3 percent dip compared to June’s index. The index tracks signed, but not closed, purchase contracts for resale homes. An index of 100 indicates the average contract activity in the index’s 2001 base year, which was a record year for existing-home sales.
“Looking at pending home sales over a longer span, contract activity over the past three months is fairly comparable to the first three months of the year, and well above the low seen in April,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement.
Yun said that “rising rents, record high affordability conditions and investors buying real estate as a future inflation hedge” bode well for real estate, though “It is now a question of lending standards and consumers having the necessary confidence to enter the market.”
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Meanwhile, Sales of new homes fell for the third straight month in July, and estimates for April, May, and June were revised down, fueling fears that this year will be the worst on record. Sales declined 0.7 percent from June, registering an annual rate of 298,000, according to data released by the U.S. Census and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. While new-home sales improved 6.8 percent on an annual basis, that number is skewed by the market upheaval caused in July 2010 by the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.