Pending home sales, foreclosures move in opposite directions

Across the U.S., housing market conditions have been fluctuating. In certain areas, the forecast is quite positive, while in others the numbers are struggling to catch up.

Across the U.S., housing market conditions have been fluctuating. In certain areas, the forecast is quite positive, while in others the numbers are struggling to catch up.

Given the current situation, the National Association of Realtors predicts that conditions will improve in the near future. However, at the moment pending home sales have dipped, down slightly from September to October.

In total, the Pending Home Sales Index decreased 0.6 percent to 102.1 in October, also down 1.6 percent on a year-over-year level. This drop was to be expected, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. He explained that due to the government shutdown at the beginning of that month, delays in the process likely contributed to the falling statistic.

"We could rebound a bit from this level, but still face the headwinds of limited inventory and falling affordability conditions," said Yun in a statement. "Job creation and a slight dialing down from current stringent mortgage underwriting standards going into 2014 can help offset the headwind factors."

Foreclosure activity ticks up
In contrast to pending home sales, the number of foreclosed houses across the U.S. is on the rise, according to RealtyTrac. In total, there were filings on 133,919 properties in October, 2 percent higher than the month before. However, that figure is also 28 percent lower than a year ago.

The increasing trend is partly due to a greater number of judicial foreclosures, RealtyTrac reported. Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, explained that many of these were delayed and are only now being scheduled for public auction.

Across the country, the highest foreclosure rates belonged to Miami, Tampa, Chicago and Baltimore, according to the news source. In addition, there were also 37,775 bank repossessions nationwide for the month, 1 percent lower than September.

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