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ABQ-Area Contract Signings Defy Traditional Year-End Drop-Off

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The Albuquerque metro area showed a slight increase in the number of pending home sales in October compared to the previous month as a national index jumped to nearly its highest level in almost six years.

There were 900 contract signings last month compared to 884 in September and a 15 percent jump over the 785 sales in October 2011, according to the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.

“Traditionally in the fall, we see home sales activity decline,” association President Marc Guggino said in a statement.

“With both an increase in home sales and in new listings entering the market, the fall of 2012 seems to be defying the year-end slowdown,” he said. “Home prices, both average and median, have been holding steady for most of the year.”

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 5.2 percent to 104.8 in October. Excluding a few months when the index spiked because of a homebuyer tax credit, that is the highest level since March 2007.

Contract signings typically indicate where the housing market is headed. There’s generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

The report is “another indicator suggesting that the recovery in housing has broadened and has sustained momentum,” Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays Capital, said in a note to clients.

Signed contracts jumped 15.6 percent in the Midwest and rose 5.5 percent in the South. But they fell 1.1 percent in the West and dipped 0.1 percent in the Northeast.

A big reason for the rebound in housing is that the excess supply of homes that built up before the housing crisis has finally thinned out.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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