Pending Home Sales Surge to a 10-Year High in April & Springtime Beach Activities

A gauge of pending home sales jumped 5.1% in April, rising to the highest since February 2006.

The National Association of Realtors’ pending home sales index hit 116.3 in April, its third straight monthly climb, the group said Thursday. The index is 4.6% higher than it was a year ago. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.8% increase for the month.

The index forecasts future sales by tracking real estate transactions in which a contract has been signed, but the deal has not yet closed.

In the West, the only region to notch a decline in March, sales roared back 11.4%.

The data joins other releases that point to healthy demand in a stabilizing market. New home sales surged 16.6% in April, the Commerce Department said.

The data suggest a big jump in existing-home sales in May, wrote MFR Chief Economist Joshua Shapiro in a research note. Given the strong numbers of mortgage purchase applications in recent weeks, the demand is likely driven by traditional buyers, not investors, he added.

*This article appeared in the May 26th edition of MarketWatch.

Springtime Beach Activities in Orange County

Whale Watching

The number of gray whale calves spotted off Orange County beaches is on pace to be the highest seen on a northern migration in 33 years. Go on a whale watching tour so you don't miss out on seeing one of these majestic creatures.

Standup Paddleboarding ("SUP")

SUP-ing is a great way to get some exercise while taking in some rays. Novice SUP-ers should start out with a longer board in calm waters. Consider transitioning to a shorter board out in the surf as your experience level increases.

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