December Pending Home Sales Show Gain over Year

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The number of single-family homes and condominiums put under agreement in Ohio during December was up 14% from the level posted during the same month a year ago, reports the Ohio Association of Realtors.

The Pending Home Sales Index of 144.9 in December, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, was up from 127.1 in December 2013. At the same time, the rate of purchase contract signings for the month fell 12.1% from the market’s best-ever pace recorded in November 2014, 165.0.

The pending sale index posted during fourth quarter 2014 (158.6) tops all quarters reached throughout 2014, besting first quarter (118.3), second quarter (143.8) and third quarter activity (146.8). The fourth quarter 2014 pace reached the highest index for all quarters since OAR began recording statewide data in 2008.

A pending sale or a sale “under agreement” is when the buyer and seller agree on terms of the sale of a home and have a signed purchase and sale agreement, but have yet to close and be recorded as such.

“The Ohio housing marketplace is continuing to exhibit tremendous strength, as the number of homes put under contract in December reached an all-time high for the month and marks our eighth consecutive month of year-over-year gains,” says Greg Hrabcak, OAR president. “The industry is hopeful that the momentum that’s been established throughout 2014 will continue as we move forward.”

Compared to 2008, a historically healthy market that marked the end of five consecutive record years for existing home sales and the onset of the recession, December’s index score of 144.9 marks a 44.9 increase, Hrabcak noted.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

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