Forward-Thinking Real Estate Indicator Points Positive

March 28, 2011

February is a short month, which makes it even more impressive that pending home sales increased for the month.

The National Association of REALTORS on Monday released its Pending Home Sales Index, which rose 2.1 percent based on contracts signed in February.

The data, which shows the index improving from 88.9 in January to 98.9 last month, tracks contracts signed by home buyers, not actual home closings.

“Pending home sales have trended up very nicely since bottoming out last June, even with periodic monthly declines,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Contract activity is now 20 percent above the low point immediately following expiration of the home buyer tax credit.”

The index rose in almost every region of the country.

*Midwest: Pending home sales rose 4.0 percent for the month of February

*West: Index rose 7.0 percent

*South: Increased 2.7 percent

*Northeast: Fell 10.9 percent

Yun said one main reason the Northeast region may have posted declines is because the area saw unusually bad winter weather during February that could have curtailed activity.

“We may not see notable gains in existing-home sales in the near term, but they’re expected to rise 5 to 10 percent this year with the economic recovery, job creation and excellent affordability conditions providing confidence to buyers who’ve been on the sidelines,” Yun said.

Categories: Economy

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