US pending home sales leap to record as housing-market surge continues

A ‘sale pending’ sign is displayed in front of a home for sale May 24, 2010 in San Rafael, California. Government incentives and low mortgage rates helped April home sales surge 7.6 percent in April, the biggest gain in five months.


  • The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index surged 8.8% last month to an all-time high of 132.8, signaling the US housing market’s rally continued into the fall.
  • Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected an increase of 3.1%.
  • The reading is the fourth-straight climb for the index. All four major US regions notched growth in August, with the West seeing the biggest improvement.
  • The pace of home sales rocketed through the summer as Americans leveraged record-low mortgage rates. The sector has served as a rare bright spot in the pandemic-rattled economy.
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Record-low mortgage rates drove home sales

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August pending home sales soar to a record high

A sale pending sign is posted in front of a home for sale in San Anselmo, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Pending home sales rose 8.8% in August compared with July, reaching a record high pace, according to the National Association of Realtors survey, which dates back to January 2001.

Sales were 24.2% higher than August 2019.

These sales track signed contracts on existing homes, not closings, so they are an indicator of closed sales in the next one to two months.

“Tremendously low mortgage rates – below 3% – have again helped pending home sales climb in August,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Additionally, the Fed intends to hold short-term fed funds rates near 0% for the foreseeable future, which should, in the absence of inflationary pressure, keep mortgage rates low, and that will undoubtedly aid homebuyers continuing to enter the marketplace.”

Yun also noted that not

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Chapel Hill movie theater for sale. Here’s what the pending owner plans for the site.

One of Chapel Hill’s last chain movie theaters might not reopen post-COVID if a Cary developer moves ahead with plans for a new medical office.

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Regal Timberlyne, which opened in 1993, is one of 18 Regal Theatre locations in North Carolina. Other Triangle locations are in Raleigh, Cary, Garner and Apex.

The six-screen, 1,350-seat theater, located at 120 Banks Drive near the Timberlyne shopping center, closed in March when the state shut down to stem COVID-19 infections. The state has not yet lifted its restrictions on movie theaters.

Online postings show Foundry Commercial had listed the theater property for sale in January. Cary-based Parkway Holdings Phase 2 LLC plans to close on the property in December, so it’s unlikely the theater will reopen, Parkway Holdings manager Eli Zablud said.

Regal Theatre officials did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Parkway Holdings representative, TMTLA Associates, submitted a concept

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