Monday, April 30, 2018

NAR: Pending Home Sales Index Increased 0.4% in March, Down 3.0% Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 4/30/2018 10:05:00 AM

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Move Up 0.4 Percent in March

Pending home sales inched higher for the second consecutive month in March, but unrelenting inventory constraints once again kept overall activity below year ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, inched up 0.4 percent to 107.6 in March from a downwardly revised 107.2 in February. Even with last month's increase in activity, the index declined on an annualized basis (3.0 percent) for the third straight month.
...
The PHSI in the Northeast fell 5.6 percent to 90.6 in March, and is now 8.1 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index rose 2.4 percent to 101.3 in March, but is 6.0 percent lower than March 2017. Pending home sales in the South climbed 2.5 percent to an index of 128.6 in March, and are 0.3 percent higher than last March. The index in the West declined 1.1 percent in March to 94.7, and is 2.2 percent below a year ago.
emphasis added
This was below expectations of a 1.0% increase for this index. Note: Contract signings usually lead sales by about 45 to 60 days, so this would usually be for closed sales in April and May.