Monday, April 28, 2014

NAR: Pending Home Sales Index increases 3.4% in March, down 7.9% year-over-year

by Calculated Risk on 4/28/2014 10:00:00 AM

From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Increase in March

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 3.4 percent to 97.4 from an upwardly revised 94.2 in February, but is 7.9 percent below March 2013 when it was 105.7.
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The PHSI in the Northeast increased 1.4 percent to 78.8 in March, but is 5.9 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index slipped 0.8 percent to 94.5 in March, and is 10.1 percent below March 2013. Pending home sales in the South rose 5.6 percent to an index of 112.7 in March, but are 5.3 percent below a year ago. The index in the West increased 5.7 percent in March to 91.0, but is 11.1 percent below March 2013.
Mr Yun's once again lowered his forecast for 2014, and is now down to 4.9 million "Existing-home sales are expected to total just over 4.9 million this year, below the nearly 5.1 million in 2013." This is down from his earlier forecast of 5.1 million existing home sales this year. I'll once again take the under on his current forecast - but I think that it would be a positive sign if sales were under 5 million in 2014 as long as distressed sales continue to decline and conventional sales increase.

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