Joe Moshe, Broker/Owner, Charles Rutenberg Realty, says the increase in pending home sales during the month of November indicated that people had a more optimistic attitude about the economy and the job market, continuing the upward trend of homebuyers going into contract.
The National Association of Realtors reported that the index of sales agreements in November was 92.2, a 3.5% increase from the previous month's seasonally adjusted reading of 89.1. The index posted gains in four of the last five months. However, the index was 5% below last November's figure of 97.0, according to the NAR. These figures do not reflect the number of closings.
The Commerce Department recently reported that consumer spending has increased for the past five months, and the Conference Board saw the Consumer Confidence Index in November at 54.5 - a six-month high. As many people went to purchase more homes, the demand, in turn, has caused home prices and interest rates to rise.
According to the NAR, the national median existing-home price was $170,600, up slightly from $170,500 the previous month. Meanwhile, Freddie Mac reported that the national average commitment rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in November was 4.30%, up from a record-low 4.23% in October.
"Many people felt confident enough about the economy to enter into a contract to buy a house," Mr. Moshe said. "They decided to open their wallets and their pocketbooks. However, the growing demand in the housing market has pushed up prices and mortgage rates, so those who have waited for home prices and interest rates to fall further may find that the best time to buy has just passed, perhaps prompting many more to enter the market, now that a bottom may have been set."
Another indicator of home sales is the automobile market. Automakers reported new car and truck sales came in at 11.6 million, up 11% from last year. General Motors, Ford and Toyota predict sales will finish at 12.5-13 million by the end of 2011. "Auto sales are also reflective of the housing market," Mr. Moshe said. "This shows that people are willing to make those big-ticket purchases, whether it'd be a new car or a new house."
Mr. Moshe says he will wait to see whether the index's upward trend will continue in December. "With the anticipated tax cuts taking effect in the new year, many of them will put down the money for a home," he said. "When people have more money coming in, they are able to spend more. This will help spur the economy and, hopefully, the housing market as well."
Charles Rutenberg Realty is one of the nation's fastest-growing Agencies with more than 1,200 Agents on Long Island, Queens and Westchester. For more information, call (516) 575-7500, or visit www.crrli.com.
About Charles Rutenberg Realty
Founded in 2006, Charles Rutenberg Realty of New York is one of the nation's fastest-growing, most progressive Real Estate Agencies with over 1,200 Agents on Long Island, Queens and Westchester. Charles Rutenberg Realty specializes in residential properties in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Kings and Westchester Counties. Among the 1,900 independent Real Estate offices represented by Multiple Listing Services (MLS), Charles Rutenberg Realty has the highest market share for available inventory, listings taken for the first six months of the year and listings under contract. Its Agents are trained in the latest creative marketing programs and can fulfill all their clients' financial and personal needs when buying or selling a home. Charles Rutenberg Realty is headquartered in Plainview, New York, with offices in New York City, Florida and Illinois. For more information, call (516) 575-7500 or visit www.crrli.com.