The National Association of Realtors monthly Pending Home Sales Index for August came in at 85.5, Month on Month -6.5%, and Year over Year -21.5%.
This is perhaps the worst data on recent record, but it is worth keeping in mind that this data is August and before the FOMC rate cut. It was also during the worst mortgage month when every single headline was revolving around headlines and story lines saying "billions of dollars lost here" and "billions of dollars lost there" were on every television station (while "Flip That House" versions were still running rampant on TV).
The SPDR Homebuilders ETF (AMEX:XHB) is up almost 5% today at $23.20 and the ETF did maintain its strength after these numbers came out. Citigroup’s upgrade for a trade yesterday is turning out to be quite a call. The XHB ETF closed Friday at $21.40, almost an 8.4% gain in two days.
Of the largest homebuilders, it looks like a 7% gain in DR Horton (NYSE:DHI) and in Pulte Homes (NYSE:PHM) are leading the pack.
Jon C. Ogg
October 2, 2007