Well, so do buyers. The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index, which measures properties in contract but not yet closed, dropped a horrifying 16 percent in November. It looks like first-time buyers -- who are half of the current homebuying market -- decided to cool their heels and see if the tax credit would be extended.
Which, by the way, it was. Now a buyer can get the credit if he/she is in contract by April 30 for a June 30 closing (and you don't need to be a first-time buyer to get it now).
So we should see another bump in the pending home sales index as the last buyers who want to grab the credit make up a spring rush.
In broader-brush terms, the index had been rising for nine straight months. A story by Rex Nutting of Marketwatch notes that the November 2009 numbers are 15.5 percent higher than those of a year ago.