Houses, like this one on Pickwick Drive in Bloomington, and home ownership have been long been the foundation of the American economy. Good news is just starting to appear about the US housing market and the US economy. Here are words from the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist:NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index reached 94.6 in June, its highest mark in two years and a vast improvement from the cyclical low of 80.4 in January of this year. If buyer contracts persist at this level, the corresponding home sale closings would be about 5.2 to 5.5 million at an annualized rate. For comparison, last year existing home sales totaled 4.9 million. We’re on our way to that: in June, existing-home sales increased for a third consecutive month, posting 4.89 million seasonally adjusted annualized units.
The recovery in the housing market will lay the foundation for a sustainable economic recovery. With more sustained economic growth, jobs will be created. Job growth is what is needed for consumers to buy furniture, computers, a host of consumer products, and lead to a sustainable rise in auto sales even without the clunker incentives. Despite the risks facing us, our baseline economic forecast still looks much better – with higher home sales, stabilizing home prices, and an eventual recovery in jobs.For the latest economic forecast insights and analysis, visit www.realtor.org/research/research_commentary