Like The Herald Business Journal on Facebook!
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Jody Knoblich
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
jknoblich@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

Pending home sales rise to highest since 2010

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
By Christopher S. Rugaber
Associated Press
Published:
WASHINGTON -- A measure of the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January from December to the highest level in more than 2˝ years. The increase suggests sales of previously occupied homes will continue rising in the coming months.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales rose 4.5 percent last month to 105.9. That's the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer's tax credit was about to expire.
There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.
Pending home sales rose in all regions, but just barely ticked up in the West, where a limited supply of available homes is holding back sales.
The increase is the latest positive report for the housing market, which began recovering last year after a deep, six-year slump. Steady hiring and nearly record-low mortgage rates have encouraged more Americans to buy homes. More people are also moving out on their own after living with friends and relatives in the recession. That's driving a big gain in apartment construction and also pushing up rents.
"Housing market activity appears to have ended 2012 on a positive note and is off to a strong start in 2013," Cooper Howes, U.S. economist at Barclays Capital, said in a note to clients.
Sales of previously occupied homes ticked up in January after rising to their highest level in five years in 2012.
And new-home sales jumped 16 percent last month from December to the highest level since July 2008, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
Home prices, meanwhile, rose by the most in more than six years in the 12 months ending in December.
Steady price increases are also contributing to the housing recovery. They encourage more people to buy before prices rise further. Higher prices also build homeowners' wealth, which can spur more spending and economic growth.
Builders, meanwhile, started work on the most new homes in 4 ˝ years in December. Last year was the best year for residential construction since 2008, just after the recession started.

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

Market roundup