Pending home sales decline in December
The Pending Home Sales Index declined 4.3% in December to a reading of 101.7, according to data released Monday morning by the National Association of Realtors.
The data, which reflects contracts but not closings, was up 6.9% compared with the year-ago month.
“The supply limitation appears to be the main factor holding back contract signings in the past month,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Still, contract activity has risen for 20 straight months on a year-over-year basis. Buyer interest remains solid, as evidenced by a separate Realtor survey, which shows that buyer foot traffic is easily outpacing seller traffic."
Even with tighter inventory, a pent-up demand and favorable affordability conditions bode well for the market, according to the NAR. Yun expects existing-home sales to increase another 9% in 2013, following a 9% rise in 2012.
CFO leaves Scotts Miracle-Gro
Marysville, Ohio-based Scotts Miracle-Gro announced that Dave Evans has resigned as chief financial officer and executive VP and has accepted a similar role with Columbus-based Battelle, the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization.
Evans joined Scotts Miracle-Gro as director of finance for operations in 1993 and moved through several roles before being named CFO in 2006.
"To say that Dave made important contributions to the business and to the culture of Scotts Miracle-Gro during his 19 years here is a gross understatement," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and CEO. "While I am personally and professionally sad to see him leave, I am excited for Dave and his family as he makes this change."
In 2011 Evans’ role was expanded to include strategic planning and business development. Evans will remain at Scotts through the filing of its first-quarter results in mid February and is actively working with Hagedorn and the board of directors on creating an orderly transition.
The search for a replacement is under way.