Pending home sales in the Northeast and Midwest were down 25.7 percent.
The National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales fell 16.0 percent in November, hitting their lowest level since June. Remarkably, this decline appeared to surprise many analysts. It should have been entirely predictable.
In the prior three months, there had been a sharp surge in home sales. This surge was obviously driven by the desire to close on a sale before the expiration of the original first-time buyers tax credit at the end of November. Because it depended on the closing date of a sale, buyers had to sign contracts by mid-October to ensure that they would qualify for the credit. This was before they knew that the credit would be extended.
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