The National Association of Realtors recently came out with the Pending Home Sales Index, based on pending sales of existing single-family homes, condos and co-ops. The new Index presents data regarding home sales where the contract has already been signed but the deal has not closed, thus reflecting existing home sales in the coming two months. NAR officials say the new Index provides helpful information in analyzing housing trends.

The new Index captures 20% of home sales on a national scale, although the NAR is planning to increase this sample size going forward. By contrast, the NAR's existing home sales series is based on a 40% sample size. Existing home sales make up 85% of total residential transactions, while new home sales make up 15% of the total. This series, measuring contracts signed the prior month, is based on a considerably smaller 2% sample size.

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