Home Sales Break Losing Streak, But Don’t Expect Much Growth in 2014

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After declining for five consecutive months and reaching its worst level of the year, pending home sales in the United States managed to edge higher in November. However, sales are still below their level seen a year earlier.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 0.2 percent to 101.7 in November from a downwardly revised 101.5 in October and the worst reading since December 2012, according to the latest report from National Association of Realtors. On average, economists expected sales to rise about 1 percent last month.

Despite the weaker-than-expected results, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun believes the market is flattening. “We may have reached a cyclical low because the positive fundamentals of job creation and household formation are likely to foster a fairly stable level of contract activity in 2014,” he explained. “Although the final months of 2013 are finishing on a soft note, the year as a whole will end with the best sales total in seven years.”

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