The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that the November pending home sales were down. However, the NAR's chief economist was not surprised by the data, calling the weakening "inevitable". Also, "The impact of mortgage interest rates declining to near 50-year lows in December is not reflected in current data."
"The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in November, fell 4.0 percent to 82.3 from a downwardly revised reading of 85.7 in October, and is 5.3 percent below November 2007 when it was 86.9. The current index is the lowest since the series began in 2001."
However, all the data is not downward. The western region actually posted a year-over-year gain "The PHSI ... index was down 2.4 percent to 101.2 but remains 19.3 percent higher than November 2007."
Read the press release here: real estate sales weaken
We have noticed an increase in phone calls and buyer interest since the first of the year for homes for sale in Southern California. In addition, we have also been receiving more calls from seniors wanting to find out how or if they can transfer their property tax base. It seems people are thinking about this year's financial strategy. It could be a very busy year in our office.