RISMEDIA, Feb. 12, 2008-The Greater Philadelphia region saw an modest increase in December real estate activity after a decrease in November, according to the Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors® HomExpert Pending Home Sales Index©. Based on the forward-looking indicator, the region showed a 3.4% increase in activity moving from a revised November index of 84.3 to 87.2 in December.
The five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania area pending home sales activity increased for the third consecutive month, growing 1.9% from a revised November index. Montgomery County saw the areas largest increase at 12.1%, followed by Delaware County at 5.2% and Philadelphia County at 3.1%. With a 16.1% drop, the Main Line saw its first decrease since August after four months of growing indices. Center City real estate activity grew 31.6% from a downwardly revised index of 122.1 in November to 160.8 in December.
Southern New Jersey real estate activity increased 3.2%, with all five-counties seeing a growth in pending home sales, a first since the index began 12 months ago. Salem County saw the largest increase at 11.5%, moving from a revised November index of 81.7 to 91.1 in December. For the third consecutive month, Burlington County experienced real estate activity growth increasing 16.3% since the September index. The combined Delaware area of New Castle and Kent Counties showed a 13.4% increase in December, after posting a 19.4% fall last month. The Delaware indices continued a one-month increase, one-month decrease pattern moving from 81.3 in August to 71.2 in September, 90.7 in October, 73.1 in November and 82.8 in December.
Compared to December findings reported by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index, the Greater Philadelphia region faired better than the Northeast and National indices. The NAR index showed a 1.7% decrease in pending sales in the Northeast and a 1.5% decrease nationally. In November, the NAR index indicated a 19.1% decrease in pending sales in the Northeast and a 2.5% decrease nationwide.
“Consistent with home prices and the number of homes sold statistics, the Greater Philadelphia market continues to perform better than the national and northeast index,” said Steve Storti, senior vice president of marketing for Prudential Fox & Roach. “With interest rates continuing to drop, we’ll see if homebuyers become more engaged. But we’ll more likely see what kind of role rates will play when we see the January to February index. From a refinancing perspective, our sister company, Trident Mortgage Company, has seen an uptick in demand.”
While December pending homes sales index for the Greater Philadelphia region increased 3.4%, it is 19.2% below the December 2006 index, moving from an index of 107.9 in 2006 to 87.2 in 2007. The Southeastern Pennsylvania index is 17.4% below a year ago, Southern New Jersey is down 20.3% and the Delaware area fell 26.2% below last year’s index.
Based on contracts signed in December, the index monitors real estate market activity by tracking pending sales of homes reported to the TREND® Multiple Listing Service, the region’s primary real estate reporting tool for 32,000 real estate professionals. A sale is listed as ‘pending’ when a contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed. Sales are typically finalized within one or two months of signing. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2002. The Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors HomExpert Pending Home Sales Index is modeled after the national index created by the National Association of Realtors®, which is available at www.realtor.org.
For more information, visit www.prufoxroach.com.