Pending Home Sales Plunge 4% to Record Low

Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Pending Home Sales Plunge 4% to Record Low

WASHINGTON–Pending U.S. home sales fell to the lowest level on record in November, as the plummeting stock market and faltering economy caused buyers to delay their purchases, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

The index, which tracks signed contracts to purchase existing homes, fell 4% to 82.3 from a downwardly revised October reading of 85.7 in October. That was far worse than the reading of 88 that economists expected, according to Thomson Reuters.

Typically there is a one- to two-month lag between a contract and a done deal. So November’s decline foreshadows bleak results for December’s existing home sales numbers, set to be release Jan. 26.