US Pending Home Sales are the Highest in Almost a Year

National Association of Realtors logo (PRNewsFoto/National Association of Realtors)

National Association of Realtors logo (PRNewsFoto/National Association of Realtors)

The National Association of Realtors reported on Wednesday that the pending home sales index climbed 5.5% in February to 112.3%, which is the highest point in almost a year and the second highest point since 2006.

Lawrence Yun, the Association’s chief economist, suggested that a combination of a rising stock market, an uptick in consumer confidence and warmer weather have all played a part in encouraging prospective home buyers.  It was also suggested that rising median home prices may be urging people to make offers now rather than wait and risk price increases.

Additionally, the Association reported last week that even with the sales of existing homes falling in February after a strong January surge, sales are still solidly ahead from a year ago.  Similarly, local pending sales experienced a slight decrease in February, but 2017 started out strong with a 9% increase in Sarasota County and a 6.4% increase for Manatee County and overall, sales are still up from where they were at this time last year.  Even despite a sharp rise in mortgage rates since last November, the U.S. housing market as a whole is looking very strong.

For the full story from Herald Tribune, click here.

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Standout Statistics on International Buyers

The 2011 Profile of International Home Buying Activity is hot off the presses. Compiled by the National Association of REALTORS®, this year’s survey contains some standout statistics that should make home sellers in Southwest Florida very happy.  Chief among them is the percentage of total sales accounted for by international buyers.

According to the survey, most states report some degree of international buying activity.  Yet Florida, along with just three other states—California, Texas and Arizona—account for 58% of all sales to international buyers.   Moreover, Florida’s share—presently at 31.0%—is higher than the combined shares of California (12.0%), Texas (9.0%) and Arizona (6.0%).  This represents a threefold increase in international property transactions in just four years.  In 2007, Florida enjoyed only 10% of international sales.

For the full report click here.