WASHINGTON (March 28, 2016) — Pending home sales rose solidly in February to their highest level in seven months and remain higher than a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Led by a sizeable increase in the Midwest, all major regions except for the Northeast saw an increase in contract activity in February.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 3.5 percent in February and is now 0.7 percent above February 2015. The index has increased year-over-year for 18 consecutive months.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says pending sales made promising strides in February, rising to the highest index reading since last July. After some volatility this winter, the latest data is encouraging in that a decent number of buyers signed contracts last month, lured by mortgage rates dipping to their lowest levels in nearly a year and a modest, seasonal uptick in inventory. Looking ahead, the key for sustained momentum and more sales than last spring is a continuous stream of new listings quickly replacing what’s being scooped up by a growing pool of buyers. Without adequate supply, sales will likely plateau.
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