NAR Home Pending Data Up 2.1% In February

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April 1, 2009 2:44pm NYSE:SRS NYSE:URE

pendingIt is no secret that we here at ETF Daily news are bullish on the real estate market. With over 90% of Americans working, it was only a matter of time before the home pricing levels, attractive mortgage rates and government tax incentives to entice those workers back into the real estate market. I think most people reading this will find that water cooler conversations are changing from the real estate debacle, to conversions about the great deals available right now. Even if you consider a large majority of these sales may be foreclosed homes, these homes will be off the market lessening the competition for the more conventional sales and new construction.

New research from the National Association of Realtors offers hope that the housing market may be stabilizing.

The number of existing homes for sale put under contract rose 2.1 percent in February after hitting a historic low the previous month. But despite the national boost, the West is lagging. Pending home sales in the West dropped 13.5 percent, while the Midwest, Northeast and South all posted strong gains.

The NAR report also showed that housing affordability hit a record high in February. The group’s Housing Affordability Index jumped 0.9 percentage points to 173.5 in February, up 36.3 percentage points from a year ago. To determine affordability, the index incorporates the relationship between home prices, mortgage interest rates and family income.

A family earning the national median income of $59,700 could afford a $285,600 home in February, presuming no more than 25 percent of gross income is devoted to mortgage principal and interest, NAR said. The national median price for existing single-family homes is $164,600.

Source: Phoenix Business Journal

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