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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Highest pending home sales since March 2006

October pending homes sales rose for the ninth straight month and hit their highest levels since March 2006, just about when the housing bubble was at its peak.

According to data released moments ago by the National Association of Realtors, October pending home sales were up 3.7 percent in October, compared to September, and up 32 percent versus October 2008--the biggest annual increase in history. Remember, though, October 2008 was a historic trough, so a year later, there was nowhere to go but up.

Pending home sales -- this number of contracts signed, not actual closings -- rose in all sections of the country except the West. They were up 20 percent in the Northeast, 11.6 percent in the Midwest and 5.4 percent in the South, but down 11.2 percent in the West, which is not surprising, because that's where the most overbuilt states -- California, Arizona, Nevada -- are.

Part of the surge is probably attributable to buyers rushing to take advantage of the government-subsidized first-time home buyer's credit, which was set to expire at the end of November but now has been extended through April. Also, the bulk of sales still are coming from cheaper houses, with little movement in houses costing more than $250,000.

In other key data out moments ago, the Institute for Supply Management said its November index of U.S. manufacturing came in at 53.6, down from the October number of 55.7, indicating a slowdown of manufacturing.

Also, construction spending in October was largely unchanged compared to September. The weakness came from the commercial side, balancing out a 4.4 percent gain in residential construction.

In response, stocks have pulled back just a bit from their roaring opening, but remain strongly up on the day.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  December 1, 2009; 9:54 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: ISM, manufacturing, pending home sales  
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Comments

Do you think it might have had something to do with government incentives?

What would you want to bet that December's numbers will be one of the lowest months on record?

Posted by: postfan1 | December 1, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

It probably had something to do with Government incentives but those have been in place for months (the $8,000 credit). December will possibly be lower than November but that will likely be because house sales are always down in December. The key numbers to watch are the year-to-year comparison. That will show if the housing market is continuing to imporve.

Posted by: pjjacobs | December 1, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Unemployment in our region continues to increase with two major employers scheduled to close and move production to Brazil and Mexico. Homelessness is increasing as are people standing in lines at food banks. Note that there has been no let up in home foreclosures advertised in our newspaper...with more to come with the added burden of the new jobs losses.
So what dose the increase in home sales mean for our area, and considering the false government economic statistics which for some reason are always rosy, the supposed increase in home sales means nothing.
However, In my area there are still tax payer funded government jobs, and with the plummiting home values, some government workers and retirees are picking up bargains for investments.I personally know that most if not all real estate and retail sales businesses are being bought by groups of foriegn investors, with international criminal connections according to a ranking government neighbor...they are buying up gas stations, 7-11s, apartments, homes and even farm land...a few are even Wall Street interests and vermin from up north who are without a doubt criminals and traitors, who we do not want any of in our communities or Republic.

Posted by: 123Njord | December 1, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

But, the only houses that are selling are the ones priced at $200,000 or less, so that the buyers can get the $8,000 government kick back, finance with FHA, and get virtually 100% financing. These are also the homes that are being foreclosed upon in record numbers.

With the First-Time home buyers kickback and FHA financing, the government has simply created a revolving door of buying and foreclosing on the same homes over and over and over.

As a result of this fiasco, FHA is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Posted by: mike85 | December 1, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe anything having to do with the Obama administration and its manipulation of information, otherwise known as propaganda.

Posted by: Jerzy | December 1, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

No one should believe a thing that comes out of the State-run media and the propoganda spewed daily by any of these sources.

Reality on the ground in each state does not corroberate any of this data and it is all misrepresented purposely for reasons of propoganda and its paying sponsors to its media partners.

Shame shame SHAM!

Posted by: Accuracy | December 1, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

prices have fallen so much that it pays to buy but not to sell...
with so many foreclosures and banks already getting paid for them that they can pratically give them away, to those that can get the credit...
has franks or dodd interfered lately forcing lenders to halp out their cronies...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 1, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

So many of the comments here are so funny!

When information is not definitive, people's thoughts revert to whatever they were already thinking.

What we have in this article are a couple data points that support the larger story of an uneven recovery. But a recovery nonetheless.

If you don't want to admit that some level of recovery is underway, then just revert back to whatever you were thinking. It makes for some really funny comments!

Posted by: Heerman532 | December 1, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Well said Herman532. Many folks minds have turned to stone, probably out of fear and for some residual racism. However, they need to understand this is NOT about fox news or President Obama.

This recovery (whether you think it is progressing well or not) is about how American families will survive in coming decades and generations. If America sticks its head in the sand economically (which we did for the previous 8 years) and fail to grow and progress like the rest of the "modernized" world, we will not be much of a nation.

I question the motives and loyalty of those who stubbornly align themselves against America's economic recovery, because of their hatred of the President.

Posted by: free-donny | December 1, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The pray-for-failure, do-nothing Republicans must be devastated at all the good economic news lately. They were certain the Obama recovery plan would fail. Such fools.

Posted by: Honest_Abe | December 1, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing is a lie and this reporter is carrying the Fed Gov's water. This has everything to do with that $8K credit and investors who are gobbling up undervalue property's so they can flip them for a profit.

Thank you. There is no short term recovery.

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 1, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Government subsidies and historically low mortgage rates.

Growth in home sales are the outcomes of a healthy economy.

In a healthy economy houses are bought without government subsidies and without low interest rates.

Our economy has gotten so out of whack that we believe we can create a healthy economy by faking the results of a healthy economy.

This is equivalent to pouring water on the ground during a drought and saying the wet ground is an indication the drought is over.

This is not reason but a child like belief in magic.

Posted by: bsallamack | December 1, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

pending sales are irrelevant in good times and bad times. Actual closings are the only thing that matters. Half of these deals never make it to the table.

Posted by: djrhood | December 1, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

So many of the comments here are so funny!

When information is not definitive, people's thoughts revert to whatever they were already thinking.

What we have in this article are a couple data points that support the larger story of an uneven recovery. But a recovery nonetheless.

If you don't want to admit that some level of recovery is underway, then just revert back to whatever you were thinking. It makes for some really funny comments!

Posted by: Heerman532 | December 1, 2009 12:04 PM
................................
The data is in. Almost one trillion of government money pumped into the economy and small growth of the GNP is supposed to be the sign that that there is an uneven recovery.

Never mind the 10,000 layoffs days later announced from Johnson & Johnson, Electronic Arts, and Advanced Manufacturing.

A Black Friday where total sales amounts were no larger than last year as an indication that the Christmas sales will be as bad as last year.

American jobs still being directly exported.

Banks still not lending.

The patient is comatose and on life support. This can be claimed to be an uneven recovery.

Of course the one day job summit at the White House on Thursday will help with this uneven recovery. Perhaps there is some candy left over from the Halloween party at the White House.

Posted by: bsallamack | December 1, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Blame Obama.

Posted by: ssterno | December 1, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

After all the vandalism to so many boarded up, foreclosed houses, I could imagine many of these purchases are for fixer-uppers.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | December 1, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

speculative sales on speculative homes

dependent upon real govt cash

these homes have not even sold:

"Pending home sales -- this number of contracts signed, not actual closings -- rose in all sections of the country except the West"

obama socialism--the reason YOU may lose your job before

christmas

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 1, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

psst......team obama

see the buyer acts as if you bought a home, pocket the $6,500

split it with the seller

obama--stuck om stupid

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 1, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

To bsallamak, respectively, you are only telling part of the story. If anyone agrees with you that our economy is on "life support" - more will agree with me that President Obama was handed an economy on life support and that economy has improved markedly since the last stimulus package began implementation.

While you pointed out some companies that have recently announced layoffs, you completely ignore that many companies are currently hiring including:

Verizon
ACS
CocaCola
AT&T
Pitney Bowes Comcast
UPS
Price Waterhouse Coopers
Hewlett Packard
Laboratory Corporation of America
Kaiser Permanente
United HealthCare Group EMX
Boston Scientific
Perot Systems
...the list goes on if you are interested.

No one ... again, no one is saying 8 years of economic mismanagement by the previous administration will be magically cured in 10 months. That cute fox news strawman is already stale. However, to ignore improving indicators only leads to bad financial decision-making. Observe the good and the bad, prior to adjusting plans and making judgements. Thats just good advice.

Posted by: free-donny | December 1, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Who are the foreign investors buying them?

If you can't beat us just move in and absorb us?

Americans are all in, or looking forward to large appliance boxes.
Many just are breaking into the empty streets of homes and squatting through the winter with families.

Obama sucks.

Boycott his arrogant speech, and make the networks wake up.
Turn off the tube.

Posted by: dottydo | December 1, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

GDP grew in the 3rd quarter, jobs are always lagging the numbers recovery in each recession. Those thinking about long-term recovery, know the enviroment will be a big winner in the conversion to biofuels & biopower -- saw a cool site; Balkingpoints ; incredible satellite view of earth

Posted by: RField7 | December 1, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

dottydo, respectively, your comments about Americans living in applicance boxes because the homes sales are all foreign investors...lets just say you are mistaken.

My cousin was able to save enough to buy his first home this Fall. He is a career firefighter with a family to raise without deep pockets. He's no foreign investor. I cannot speak for all home sales, but in my neighborhood (I'm not rich) every home that sells is purchased by a family needing a home.

While things may not be good for everyone, they are also not as bad as the media sometime portrays them. Most of us are working to make the nation better and stronger.

I question the motives and loyalty of those who stubbornly align themselves against America's economic recovery.

Posted by: free-donny | December 1, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Home Sales Rise- myGrass! - Again, - 'Honesty' is Not something that Our Federal officials know much about. We know what this was based on, because - since 2006 were statisics from the NAR!? Of course the real facts were left-out as usual. - How much affect was the $8,000 dollar kick-backs?! - Oh well, just like Congress & the STIMULUS JOKE!! - There has been absolutely "NO Stimulus" for We-the-People!!- 'NOTHING AT ALL'! - Again the Congress left out the Facts about - all the so-called Stimulus / BAIL-OUTS went to the Criminals whom caused the Economic CRISIS!! - BANKSTER CRIMINALS & THIER' DERIVATIVE BOON-DOGGLE!! - Imagine America,- over $400-TRILLION in DEVIVATIVES!! That is almost impossible to fathom, but is the TRUTH!! Over $400-TRILLION in DERIVATIVE SPECULATION FRAUD- by the 'too-Big-to-Fail' CRIMINALS!!! - These figures are Not typos,- but can be proven and found on the internet. -- How about JOBs?? - More B.S. than carter-has-liver-pills. We need at least another 8,000,000 NEW JOBS!! - And Not just any Jobs, but LIVABLE WAGE JOBS!! - The $Rich get Richer, - and the Worker whom is the Economy gets Ripped-Off by these Criminal Economic Rapists!! - And CONGRESS is in bed with them all!! - "TERM-LIMITS-NOW"! - 3RD Parties UNITE,- and get over your' petty differences. We must kick these RED & BLUE TRAITORS OUT!!! - And reinstitute the penalty of 'HANGING' for these TURN-COATS!!

Posted by: jward52 | December 1, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

To bsallamak, respectively, you are only telling part of the story. If anyone agrees with you that our economy is on "life support" - more will agree with me that President Obama was handed an economy on life support and that economy has improved markedly since the last stimulus package began implementation.

Posted by: free-donny

All I have seen is banks that are still not lending and no return to Glass Steagall which would force banks back into the business of lending. The repeal of Glass Steagall was in 1999 and led to the financial system collapse of 2008. When Glass Steagall was in place the financial system did not collapse because of the bubble of Junk Bonds.

I see no improvement in a decaying economy, since there are no proposed changes. The stimulus package was simply life support for two years.

When the policy of American companies is to directly export American jobs, the logical end is a nation without jobs.

All that I see is an administration and President that is on the campaign trail for reelection in 2012.

Posted by: bsallamack | December 1, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

ballasmack, thanks for responding. We do agree on the need to reimplement Glass Steagal. I still contend that the stimulus has succeeded - considering the freefall state of the economy from Summer 2008.

If aggressive steps were not taken this Spring or if the GOP in Congress had delayed action much longer, the U.S. economy would be much worse off than we are today. When Bush and Cheney left office, our economy was losing about twice as many jobs per month as we see today.

I also agree with you on the overseas sourcing of American jobs. This is not a new problem, however, and began back in the 1980's. I do see a promising and potentially game-changing opportunity in leveraging U.S. industry (now largely un-utilized) to begin manufacturing renewable energy technologies for domestic use and export...mostly I'm referring to electricity-producing wind turbines.

Posted by: free-donny | December 1, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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