RBI Pending Home Sale Index Discussed in Washington Post

Posted on April 29, 2011 by Jonathan Miller
29

Apr

2011

The National Association of Realtors just released their Pending Home Sale Index that shows contract signings from February to March increased 5.1% adjusted for seasonality.  

However such an adjustment methodology is fraught with peril since last year's housing market results were significantly skewed by the federal homebuyers tax credit during last year at this time.  RBI release pending sales indices for the metro areas of Baltimore and Washington, DC covering the same period of time 18 days ago and does not rely on seasonal adjustments.

Here are 2 excerpts from the Washington Post "Housing prices up in Washington region" article:

Meanwhile, the number of contracts signed by home buyers in March surged to 5,436 — the highest total for that month in five years, according to RealEstate Business Intelligence, a subsidiary of the local multiple listing service. The results track with gains at the national level, where contract signings in March, or “pending sales,” rose 5.1 percent from February, the industry reported Thursday.

and 

Even when it comes to the number of contracts signed in March, regional numbers are better than national ones on a year-over-year basis, according to the RealEstate Business Intelligence analysis.

The area’s pending sales were up about 34 percent in March from the previous month and 2 percent from the previous year, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Nationally, they were also up about 34 percent month over month, but they slid 11.5 percent from a year earlier.

Jonathan Miller, an independent analyst who compiled the statistics for RealEstate Business Intelligence, said the contract numbers were not seasonally adjusted to account for a federal tax credit for home buyers that sparked a buying frenzy last spring but has since expired.

Baltimore Metro Area, DC Metro Area, market analysis
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