The tax credits for home purchases and an improving economy translated into some good news on the housing front in December.
Pending home sales increased 1% in December, the National Association of Realtors reported today. It follows November's drop, which was an aberration after nine consecutive months of increases.
The association's pending home sales index was 96.6, compared with 95.6 in November. December's index, the fifth highest in the past two years, was 10.9% higher than that of December 2008.
For credit unions and others involved in the housing market, the recent statistical releases have been mixed. Today's uptick follows two pieces of less encouraging data from the Commerce Department last week. The department reported that new home sales had dropped 7.6% in December and existing home sales fell 16.7%.
The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index increased from November's levels in the Northeast, Midwest and South by 2.3%, 5.2%, and 2.2%, respectively. It fell 3.8% in the West.
On a year-to-year basis, the index increased in the Northeast, Midwest, South and West by 14.9%, 5.2%, 5.5%, and 18.6%, respectively.