From Prudential Fox & Roach (no link):
January Pending Home Sales Index© Shows 28 Percent Drop from Last Year’s Greater Philadelphia Region Real Estate Activity
DEVON, PA – February 3, 2009 – The Greater Philadelphia region* saw an 14.8 percent decrease in January real estate activity moving to an index of 65 from the December index of 76.3, according to the Prudential Fox & Roach, REALTORS® HomExpert Pending Home Sales Index©. January’s decrease in the region’s activity follows a 9.4 percent increase in the December index, but is 27.8 percent lower than January 2008 when the index stood at 89.9.
Compared to findings reported by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index, real estate activity in the Greater Philadelphia region fell faster than both the Northeast and the National indices. The NAR index showed a 12.7 percent decrease in pending sales in the Northeast and a 7.7 percent decrease across the nation. In December, the NAR index indicated a 1.7 percent decrease in pending sales in the Northeast and a 6.3 percent increase nationwide.
Based on the forward-looking indicator, real estate activity in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania area decreased 16.8 percent from an upwardly revised index of 81.5 in December to 67.8 in January. The November index stood at 74.6. Each county in Southeastern Pennsylvania saw decreased activity. Chester County saw the largest decrease, falling 21.7 percent to an index of 53.2, which is the lowest index report since October 2007 when it stood at 47.4. Philadelphia County saw a 16.9 percent decrease in January activity, falling to an index of 86.8. Last month, the county increased to 104.5.
For the fourth straight month, Center City pending home sales activity rose. In January, the index reports a 19 percent increase to an index of 96.8. Meanwhile, the Main Line area decreased 26.6 percent, falling from an upwardly revised index of 87.8 in December to 64.5 in January.
Southern New Jersey pending home sales decreased 16 percent in January. The index dropped to 58.9, from the upwardly revised December index of 70.1. The October index stood at 47.3. Each southern New Jersey county reported decreased activity, however Camden and Salem counties remained about even falling 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Burlington County saw the largest decrease in the 12-county region, falling 30.3 percent to an index of 51.3 in January. This drop comes a month after the county recorded its highest index number since the January 2008 index.
Delaware real estate activity remained about even moving 0.6 percent higher in January to 66.2 from an upwardly revised index of 65.7 in December. Following a large decrease in December, Kent County saw a 11.6 percent increase in pending home sales. Kent County is the only county in the 12-county region to see an increase in activity. New Castle County activity decreased 1.8 percent to an index of 67.8 in January.
While the January pending homes sales index for the Greater Philadelphia region decreased 14.8 percent, it is 27.8 percent below the January 2008 index, moving from an index of 89.99 in 2008 to 65 in 2009. The Southeastern Pennsylvania index is 31.9 percent below a year ago, Southern New Jersey is down 19.5 percent and the Delaware area fell 21.3 percent below last year’s January index.