The National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) rose 5.2% to 79.4 based on contracts signed in July from a downwardly revised 75.5 in June, but remains 19.1% below July 2009, when it was 98.1. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.
Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, cautions that there will be a long recovery process.
‘Home buyers over the past year got a great deal, and buyers, for the balance of this year have an edge over sellers,’ Yun says. ‘For those who bought at or near the peak several years ago, particularly in markets experiencing big bubbles, it may take over a decade to fully recover lost equity."
The PHSI rose 6.3% to 62.5 in the Northeast, 4.1% to 66.7 in the Midwest and 1.2% to 86.3 in the South. In the West, the index jumped 11.6% to 95.
The national index fell 29.9% in May and another 2.8% in June.
SOURCE: National Association of Realtors