Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its Pending Home Sales Index for October. The PHSI is an interesting statistic, because its more forward leading because it tracks houses that went into contract during a period (which will, hopefully, show up as closed sales in the next 30 to 60 days) rather than more traditional closed sales statistics, which actually track buyer behavior 60 to 90 days back.
The PHSI showed an 0.6% uptick in October over September (although still 18.4% lower than October, 2006.) While ever so slight, the uptick reversed the downward trend that started in June. NAR breaks out its data regionally, and the most interesting note is that the Northeast region showed a 16% — no, I didn’t misplace a decimal point — rise in pending home sales between September and October. That’s still, regionally, 11.1% below a year before, but a huge improvement, and the best performance of any region nationally. That tends to support my general feeling that buyers ultimately want houses, and have started to jump back into the market.