Home-sales contract activity has now increased six of the past nine months, as the Pending Home Sales Index saw gains in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. The index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 5.1 percent to 94.1 from a downwardly revised 89.5 in February.
“Since reaching a cyclical bottom last June, pending home sales have posted an overall gain of 24 percent and demonstrate the market is recovering on its own,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "The index means modest near-term gains in existing-home sales are likely, which would be even stronger if tight mortgage lending criteria returned to normal, safe standards.”
Index breakdown by region:
- Northeast: down 3.2 percent to 63.4; 18.4 percent below March 2010
- Midwest: up 3 percent to 83.5; 16.6 percent below a year ago
- South: up 10.3 percent to 110.2; 10.5 percent below March 2010
- West: up 3.1 percent to 103.7; 4.1 percent below a year ago
For the full report, visit: http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2011/04/phs_march.