Monday, March 30, 2015

NAR: Pending Home Sales Index increased 3.1% in February, up 12% year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 3/30/2015 10:08:00 AM

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Rise in February Behind Solid Gains in Midwest, West

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 3.1 percent to 106.9 in February from a slight downward revision of 103.7 in January and is now 12.0 percent above February 2014 (95.4). The index is at its highest level since June 2013 (109.4), has increased year-over-year for six consecutive months and is above 100 – considered an average level of activity – for the 10th consecutive month.
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The PHSI in the Northeast fell 2.3 percent to 81.7 in February, but is 4.1 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index leaped 11.6 percent to 110.4 in February, and is now 13.8 percent above February 2014.

Pending home sales in the South decreased 1.4 percent to an index of 120.2 in February, but is still 10.8 percent above last February. The index in the West climbed 6.6 percent in February to 102.1 (highest since June 2013 at 111.4) and is now 18.3 percent above a year ago.
This was well above the consensus forecast, but as expected by housing economist Tom Lawler.

Note: Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this would usually be for closed sales in March and April.