The National Association of Realtors reported a 21.2 percent increase in pending home sales for the month of September. This is the 8th consecutive monthly gain so, what does that mean in terms of the real estate market? The answer, as always, is it depends on the location. The NAR number is a national number so it takes in the number of pending sales across the country. There are some areas of the country, such as the Northeast, that had a decrease in pending sales from August to September.
On a national basis, the increase in pending home sales bodes well for the housing market since most pending sales result in closed sales within 1 – 4 months. If you are currently trying to buy or sell real estate, you need to look at what all the numbers are doing in the location where you are buying or selling. In addition to looking at pending and closed sales; look at the inventory; price per square foot of listings, pending and recently closed sales; and the number of short sales and foreclosures in each category. All of these numbers will give you a good picture of what is going on in your market and will guide you in your offers if you are a buyer and your pricing if you are a seller.