Following a two-month slide, the Pending Home Sales Index rose 2.1 percent to 90.8 based on contracts signed in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. A forward-looking indicator, the index reflects contracts, not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.
Since bottoming out last June, the Pending Home Sales Index has trended upward, “even with periodic monthly declines,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Month-to-month movements can be instructive, but in this uneven recovery it’s important to look at the longer term performance.”
(Watch a video of Yun discussing the latest NAR Pending Homes Sales Index.)
Yun said all regions saw gains except for the Northeast, “where unusually bad winter weather may have curtailed some shopping and contract activity.”
The regional breakdown:
- Northeast — down 10.9 percent to 65.5 in February and is 18.4 percent below a year ago.
- Midwest — up 4.0 percent in February to 81.1, but is 15.9 percent below February 2010.
- South — up 2.7 percent to 100.3, but is 5.3 percent below a year ago.
- West — up 7.0 percent to 105.6 and is 0.6 percent higher than February 2010.
For more information, see the NAR report: http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2011/03/pending_feb_rise.