Pending sales of U.S. existing houses unexpectedly jumped by a record 10 percent in October, indicating the industry at the center of the last recession is stabilizing as the job market improves.
The increase in the number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes followed a 1.8 percent drop in September, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington.
Compared with October 2009, pending sales were down 22 percent.
From the Wall Street Examiner:
Allow me to phrase this as delicately as I can.
That’s… just… cow patties.
Let’s focus on the actual, not seasonally adjusted number. In my housing updates in the Wall Street Examiner Professional Edition I convert the Realtors’ Pending Home Sales number to an actual number equating the index to the existing home sales number for the month that will be released late in the month. This number rose by 35,500 units or 9.2% m/m. Sounds good, right? Not so much when considering that September’s level of 385,500 is the worst September level in the past 15 years, including being the worst September since the housing collapse began in 2006-07.
Where does that leave the October number? At 421,000, it is the worst October since the housing collapse started, and the worst October level in the past 15 years. How is that recovery? To me, it looks like a dead cat bounce from an atrocious level in September, a simple reversion to trend, and a weak trend at that.