Pending Home Sales Ease, but Solidly Higher Than Last Year
Pending home sales were down slightly in February, but remain notably above the pattern in the first half of 2011, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, eased 0.5 percent to 96.5 in February from 97.0 in January, but is 9.2 percent above February 2011 when it was 88.4. The data reflects contracts but not closings.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said we’re seeing the continuation of an uneven but higher sales pattern. “The spring home buying season looks bright because of an elevated level of contract offers so far this year,” he said. “If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years. Based on all of the factors in the current market, that’s what we’re expecting with sales rising 7 to 10 percent in 2012.”
Pending Home Sales Index by region:
- Northeast: slipped 0.6 percent to 77.7 in February, but is 18.4 percent above a year ago.
- Midwest: the index jumped 6.5 percent to 93.8, and is 19.0 percent higher than February 2011.
- South: fell 3.0 percent to an index of 105.8 in February, but are 7.8 percent above a year ago.
- West: the index declined 2.6 percent in February to 99.3, and is 1.8 percent below February 2011.
Source: NAR; Daily Real Estate News (March 26, 2012) | Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee