More Ohioans signed contracts to buy homes in August, an indicator that homes sales will remain strong, a statewide real estate agent association said Thursday.
Ohio’s August Pending Home Sales Index of 133.1, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 9.9 percent from the August 2012 index score of 121.1, the Ohio Association of Realtors reported Thursday.
An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2008, which marked the end of five consecutive record years for existing home sales and the onset of the recession. Activity levels in 2008 are reflective of a historically healthy, balanced market, the association said.
“Our August 2013 pending sales index of 133.1 marks a 33.1 percent increase from the benchmark August 2008 index of 100. Additionally, the current result is an improvement from the … marks posted during the month in Ohio in 2009 (94.1), 2010 (77.3) and in 2011 (104.7),” the association said.
Nationwide, fewer Americans signed contracts to buy U.S. homes in August, the third straight decline. The drop could mean that higher mortgage rates are starting to deter some buyers.
The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales declined 1.6 percent to 107.7 last month. The index has fallen for three straight months after reaching a 6 ½-year high in May.
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. Buyers typically complete sales one to two months later.