Friday, February 27, 2015

NAR: Pending Home Sales Index increased 1.7% in January, up 8.4% year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 2/27/2015 10:05:00 AM

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Rise in January to Highest Level in 18 Months

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.7 percent to 104.2 in January from an upwardly revised 102.5 in December and is now 8.4 percent above January 2014 (96.1). This marks the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year gains with each month accelerating the previous month's gain.
...
The PHSI in the Northeast inched 0.1 percent to 84.9 in January, and is now 6.9 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index decreased 0.7 percent to 99.3 in January, but is 4.2 percent above January 2014.

Pending home sales experienced the largest increase in the South, up 3.2 percent to an index of 121.9 in January (highest since April 2010) and are 9.7 percent above last January. The index in the West rose 2.2 percent in January to 96.4 and is 11.4 percent above a year ago.

Total existing-homes sales in 2015 are forecast to be around 5.26 million, an increase of 6.4 percent from 2014.
Note: Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this would usually be for closed sales in February and March. I'll take the "under" on the NAR forecast for 2015 sales!